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China's college students get okay to tie knot
Updated: 2005-03-30 08:55

China's education authority yesterday gave the green light to college students planning to get married.

Third-year student of Tianjin Normal University Wang Yang (L) and Liu Hang who works in Tianjin get married May 1, 2004. Wang is reportedly the first college student who ties knot in the city. [newsphoto] 

Starting from the fall semester, students reaching the legal age for marriage don't have to ask their university for approval when they plan to tie the knot, Ministry of Education officials said yesterday at a press conference in Beijing to announce revised guidelines on university students. The current campus regulations were issued in 1990.

But it doesn't mean the government encourages collegians to marry, said Sun Xiaobing, director of the ministry's Legal Office.

Students should concentrate on their studies, Sun said. "College students should handle properly the issues of studies, marriage and family. They aren't financially prepared yet for marriage."

The ministry lifted the ban to get in line with the country's new Marriage Law, which went into force in 2003, said Sun.

The new marriage law says a person needn't get approval from his or her employer for marriage registration.

Earlier, a university could expel a regular-program student if he or she married during studies. However, since 2003, more than 70 universities on the Chinese mainland have waved the marriage ban. But sources said only one in every 10,000 students has since registered for marriage.

The revised campus regulations also offer university officials more say in punishing students who are caught cheating in an exam or plagiarizing research achievements.

A university can kick out a student if he or she takes an exam for another candidate, hires a proxy to take an exam, organizes exam cheating, cheats through telecommunications devices like a cell phone, or steals ideas from a published research paper, the guidelines say.

On march 3, a district court in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, ordered the Zhengzhou University to revoke its order to sack a student who had been caught cheating in an exam. The court said the punishment was too harsh, according to the campus rules.

To better protect students' rights, the new guidelines allow students to appeal to an appeals department of their school or even the provincial-level education authority if they are unhappy with a punishment.

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