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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-29 08:17

Elitist group of colleges unnecessary

Comment on "Develop new and unique identities" (Letters and blogs, Page 4, Oct 26, China Daily)

Bravo to Michael M. Crow, president of the Arizona State University, for his comments on the new and unique universities in China. The key word is "access" for the people rather than emphasis on institutional ambitions for status. It's bad enough in America to have an elitist Ivy League, but at least we have 2,400 other top notch and unique colleges and universities for all of our students and overseas students as well.

To put a brand name on a small group of universities when there are not enough university places for the current qualified Chinese high school graduates puts added burden and unnecessary pressures on students and their families to strive for even a smaller number of possibilities for their education. The elitist branding of educational institutions only tells how hard it is to get in; not the crucial question of what becomes of students at that university. For example, the Fortune 500 CEOs graduated from Pittsburgh State, Baylor University, the University of Minnesota, Georgia Institute of Technology, and as many graduated from the state owned University of Texas as CEOs from Harvard.

Joyce Slayton Mitchell

via e-mail

Threat of sex imbalance

Comment on "Family planning policy applauded" (China Daily website)

I disagree with the statement that "although the family planning policies have (resulted in an) abnormally high ratio of male births, it has also, however, led to significant improvements in China's life expectancy, education and per capita GDP."

The terrible consequences of the imbalance have yet to be felt. A 2009 research showed the sex ratio at birth from 2000 to 2004 was 124 boys for every 100 girls. In Jiangxi and Henan, the ratio in the same period was over 140 boys for every 100 girls and in Anhui, Guangdong, Hunan, and Hainan, the ratios were over 130.

Rural societies will suffer greatly in 20 years as women flock to the cities to marry richer urban men, leaving behind rural men in their 20s and 30s, the majority of whom will be single. This will alter the character of rural China. Many men who are not able to form families might become criminals. Many more others will not develop the maturity and concern that transforms single men into fathers and husbands.

The nation must seek to eliminate the gap by enforcing the policy against sex-selective abortion. Authorities should also consider assisting parents of girls in defraying the cost of education and fund their pensions.

Kai Xue

via e-mail

(China Daily 10/29/2009 page8)