China / Education

College students read little outside of class: survey

(ECNS) Updated: 2015-07-20 16:15

College students don't read much other than class materials, and mostly devote their time to activities put on by student organizations, academic studies, and online entertainment, the China Youth Daily has reported.

From June 2014 to June 2015, 37.15 percent of college students read fewer than five books outside of assigned class materials, and 6.13 percent read nothing additional at all, according to a survey by the China University Media Union (CUMU) of 525 college students from 27 cities and provinces.

Li Jia, a student from Southwest University, read five books in a year that were not required by school. "I joined quite a few student organizations when I started college, and devote most of my time to various activities."

Liu Xinran, a student at the China University of Geosciences, has spared no effort preparing for the graduate school entrance exam. "Everyday it feels like my brain is drained when I return to my dormitory." At night, Liu habitually watches TV shows, because "everyone is tired — nobody wants to spend their brain power on more reading."

Smartphones also consume much time. Fang Qingqiao, who studies at the Communication University of China, calls herself "a patient of severe phone dependability." Whether it's before bed or in class, Fang is always looking at her phone.

The exam system and social environment may be causes of the limited additional reading by students, says Rui Bifeng, former dean of Anhui University's School of Journalism and Communication.

Liu Yunfeng, a professor of mass communication at Nankai University, says students are under heavy pressure to get jobs, but many don't realize that reading can boost their career chances.

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