The homepage of China's Renmin University website featured graduation photos of a beautiful girl on June 23, 2013, winning praises from the netizens who said it creatively showed the atmosphere of the graduation season. [Photo/Xinhua]
Several renowned universities have triggered controversy after posting photos of beautiful female students on their websites.
A graduation picture of Kang Yikun, dubbed "Goddess of Renmin University," caused the university's website to crash after it was uploaded to its homepage.
The stir began on June 23, when Renmin University, one of China's top universities, changed its homepage to include Kang's graduation picture in the background.
Other universities, including Beijing Foreign Studies University, China University of Political Science and Law and Tongji University, have also posted student graduation photos on their homepages.
Although some have praised the universities for prominently featuring their students, others believe the move is being made to attract more male students.
"It is vulgar to use pictures of pretty girls to attract boys," said Xu Jing, a college student from Anhui Province.
An official from Renmin University's publicity department said she never expected the photo to trigger such a fuss.
"Senior high school students would not be attracted simply by a photo of a female graduate. They will choose universities and majors based on the university's reputation and employment prospects for their majors," said the female official.
Xiong Bingqi, associate dean of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said changing a homepage is perfectly normal.
"School homepages are a window into campus culture. It's good to chang the stern and rigid stereotype of Chinese universities," Xiong said.