Chinese students forced to sign 'suicide contracts' before term starts


Tom Mendelsohn
Friday 20 September 2013 14:13 BST
The city of Dongguan in south China
The city of Dongguan in south China (Rex)

New students at Chinese university have been required to sign a waiver to absolve the school of any blame should they commit suicide.

More than 5,000 students beginning their courses at City College of Dongguan University of Technology received the document in their packet of admissions paperwork at the start of term on Sunday.

While administrators at the university, which is in the province of Guangdong in the south of the country, have tried to pass off the papers as nothing more than a "warm reminder" for new students of what they claim is long-standing policy, many parents are up in arms.

One mother told Time magazine that she felt the agreement was 'irresponsible and unfair'.

“The school should provide counseling services and other help for students, instead of trying to absolve themselves of responsibility even before anything has happened,” said Ms. Li, whose son had started his first year at the college, and who declined to give her full name.

Meanwhile, a father who didn't want to be named at all, told China Daily that he wanted to be able to trust the university that 'it would ensure a safe environment for students'.

"The university shouldn't pass the buck when things happen on campus," he said.

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