A psychological course, including sex and love, will be compulsory for university students starting this September, according to the Ministry of Education.
The ministry asked universities nationwide to develop a compulsory mental health course for students in all grades in June this year, a senior official of the ministry, who did not want to be identified, told China Daily on Wednesday.
"Such college courses have been developed for several years in fact, but they have been mainly optional courses," he said.
"The reason why the ministry decided to make the courses compulsory was that most university students are advised to seek help or seek psychological guidance because of the heavy pressure on them," he said.
The new compulsory course consists of seven parts, he said. Besides the sections about sex and love, it also involves other psychological problems such as how to deal with pressure and frustrations in life and studying.
Gao Chang, 18, a medical science freshman at Peking University, said such courses are very popular among new students.
"The psychological courses in our school, which introduce some sex and procreation knowledge are popular, but they have been optional up till now," she said.
Some students think there is no reason to make the course compulsory.
Wang Kefei, a sophomore major in business administration at Peking University, who selected a psychological course in her first year, said it was boring and was no help to her.
Her boyfriend, He Fang, also a sophomore at the university, also said it was unnecessary to make it a compulsory course.
"Not all students need this kind of education. After all, we are university students, most of us know about sex and love," he said.
Qing Yun, a student at the University of International Business and Economics, echoed He's opinion and said the university should not enforce this kind of course upon students.
"Some students may not be interested in the psychological education and know about sex and love, so this course won't be helpful to them," she said, adding that optional courses would probably be of more benefit than a compulsory one.
Sang Biao, associate dean of the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science at East China Normal University, said the best time to develop psychological education, especially about sex and love, is in middle or high schools.
"Such a course is necessary, but choosing the right ages for it is more important," he said.
"For most students, the most suitable time to learn sex knowledge is in middle school, because it is in great demand and they have interest to understand the information at that time," he said.