Students aiming to enter Tsinghua University this year had better be able to swim or be prepared to learn swimming and pass a swim test since the prestigious university will not grant bachelor's degrees if they cannot swim.
This September, would-be freshmen at Tsinghua University will have to take swimming courses if they fail a swimming test at the beginning of their university life, and they won't receive their degrees if they cannot swim before their graduation, in accordance with a message at a university staff meeting days ago, the Beijing Daily reported on Monday.
Potential freshmen with chronic diseases, skin disease or hydrophobia, once examined and affirmed by medical staff, don't need to take the required test or course.
Plans are for freshmen to take the test during their military training. In the test, students will pass the test if they can swim 50 meters, no matter whether they choose the breaststroke, butterfly stroke, freestyle or backstroke. Those failing the test have to take a compulsory swimming course.
"Now Tsinghua University will test students in long-distance running and swimming, so students with poor sports performance will have to overcome a lot of difficulties once they enter the university," said a student surnamed Zhang from the Second High School Attached To Beijing Normal University.
However, students don't need to worry much, since Liu Bo, head of the Division of Sports Science and Physical Education, said relevant statistics showed that 90 percent of students can swim after taking the compulsory swimming course in their second year of university, and the remaining 10 percent will receive instruction after class provided by teachers, without paying extra tuition.
有趣的是，小编在微博上发现，很多网友称，自己的大学早就有这样的规定，已经是见怪不怪了。而美国著名在线知识问答网站Quora上也有一个提问：“Which colleges make you pass a swim test to graduate（哪所大学强制毕业生通过游泳测试）?”
And viewing the ability to swim as a must for students to earn their degrees is not something new in Tsinghua University, as this ability was listed on its school regulations in the early 20th century.
"As early as 90 years ago, Tsinghua University required that students cannot graduate from the university or study overseas if they cannot swim, though the requirement didn't work later on since the swimming pools at the campus could not accommodate increasingly more students," said Liu.
Many alumni of the prestigious university had to meet the swimming challenge. Renowned writer Liang Shih-chiu, entering Tsinghua University in 1915, failed the swimming test before his graduation, and he had to do his best at the make-up examination. Luckily his second endeavor got a pass from the head of the Division of Sports Science and Physical Education.
As to why the university is linking swimming ability with degrees, "as a requisite survival skill, swimming is beneficial for students in the long run, since swimming is helpful in improving students' endurance and doing less harm to joints and muscles as a water sport," said Liu.
（Source: China daily）