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Distinctive college admission letters impress Chinese students

Updated: 08 03 , 2016 14:22
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BEIJING, Aug. 2 -- Instead of the usual formal acceptance letters, future college students across China have been impressed by what they have received this summer: delicately designed, hand-crafted admission letters.

School authorities said the change is to show care and respect to students, as well as to spread distinct cultures of different schools.

"I never expected an admission letter could be so beautiful. It's the first gift from my university and made me imagine the wonderful college life ahead," said Wang Wen'ou, who will attend Jiangnan University, in Wuxi City, eastern China's Jiangsu Province.

The letter from the university is a folded card, featuring a pencil sketch of a small bridge over a stream, a common scene in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Inside the card is a Tang Dynasty (618-907) poem called "Jiangnan in Memory," accompanied by a sketch of lotus flowers.

"Before the college entrance examination, I wrote down the poem and stuck the paper on my desk. Now, I have found the poem on my admission letter," said netizen "Nekola."

Some agricultural colleges designed their admission letters in a rustic style. For example, the letter from Beijing Forestry University uses part of a real leaf on its craft-paper cover.

Even more novel, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University used bamboo to make its letter, using techniques developed by their own researchers. They cut bamboo into ultra-thin slips and pieced them together, turning them into soft, flexible paper after processing.

The Communication University of China invited award-winning calligraphy students to handwrite the names of new students on the letters, hoping they will make the newcomers feel special.

The practice, however, is not new to Shaanxi Normal University, which first started handwriting the names with Chinese writing brushes 10 years ago. The work took several professors a week to finish.

A distinctive admissions letter presents an impressive image of the college for new students and builds a good reputation among high school students, as universities increasingly compete for students, said Liu He, an official in charge of recruitment at Jilin University.

Some universities also delivered gifts to the new students with the admission letters. For example, the prestigious Tsinghua University gave copies of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" to promote good reading habits, said its president Qiu Yong.

Liu Chunyan, a college teacher in Beijing, still remembers the thrill of receiving her admission letter more than 30 years ago when very few high school graduates could enter university.

"It was just a piece of white paper. But it was the most beautiful memory of my life," she said.

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