It is going to get tougher for outsiders to see Peking University's beautiful campus if proposed new measures to restrict the number of visitors come into force.
Temporary restrictions introduced during the Olympics Games, when visitors were only allowed in if accompanied by students or staff, are set to become permanent, according to the university security department.
The university's head of security said the university plans to introduce an electronic card swiping system next year. "It's hard to spot fake identity certificates visually. So we are considering installing an electronic card swiping system. Teachers and students will be able to enter by showing their university cards, but visitors will have their IDs checked by the system."
If that seems over the top, the security department said it is even considering an appointments system, which would require visitors to book a visit to the campus in advance.
This is all in great contrast to nearby Tsinghua University, whose gates, like those of nearly all China's universities, remain wide open to visitors. But according to its security chief, Peking University has no choice but to restrict access. On a normal day 60,000 people enter the campus, 20,000 of them visitors. At weekends that goes up to 80,000, and on National Day the figure reached 100,000.
"The measures are aimed at permitting the university's normal teaching and research work to continue," said the chief, adding that Tsinghua's campus is twice as big as Peking's, and does not have scenic spots as famous as Peking University's Wenming Lake.
And it looks like the new measures have the support of the university community. A survey carried out by the student committee showed that 86 percent of teachers and students support the proposed measures.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Ming'ai, October 8, 2008)