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Learn art of love at this Chinese university, Marx and Plato in syllabus

Professor Duan Xinxing from the China University of Mining and Technology thought about designing a course on love after she studied and realised that failed relationships among her students negatively impacted their academic performance.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2018 13:12 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Karl Marx,Plato,China University of Mining and Technology
The course takes a Marxist approach to understanding love. Karl Marx propogated that the material world has an objective reality, independent of the mind or spirit.(Stock Photo)

An online course on love and relationships offered by a university in eastern China has become a hit.

Professor Duan Xinxing from the China University of Mining and Technology at Xuzhou in Jiangsu province needed a team and two years to design the course.

Putting together the syllabus for “Psychology of Love and Relationship” turned out to be a labour of love – and an unexpected winner online – for Duan, a psychology teacher and dean of the faculty of public management at the university.

According to reports in the state media, the elective course has raked in 1.2 million clicks and thousands have enrolled for it.

“So far, the online course, which is streamed live and available to the general public, has generated over a million hits. On the QQ platform it is not uncommon for 20,000 people to tune in,” People’s Daily online reported.

Duan thought about designing a course on love after she studied and realised that failed relationships among her students negatively impacted their academic performance.

“If students learned how to handle all types of challenges they encountered in their relationships after studying the course, I could say that they’ve learned the ‘techniques’,” Duan told the portal.

“The course takes a Marxist approach to understanding love. Students use a book containing 10 chapters on Plato, and there are 50 video nodes that offer theoretical teaching,” the report said.

The course focusses on how students interact with each other in daily life and makes an attempt to analyse their behaviour. It covers “almost all types of relationships in college, such as love at first sight, unrequited love, long-distance love, and even some sensitive topics like sex”.

A few other Chinese universities have tried their hand at similar courses in the past.

“In 2013, a course on love and marriage became an instant hit at Wuhan Polytechnic University,” state-run China Daily reported.

In 2016, Tianjin University introduced a course on “Theory and Practice of Romantic Relationships”, which included seduction techniques in its syllabus.

The course at the university in Xuzhou sounds fun, but if students aren’t serious, it can result in heartbreak - only half of the 480 students who enrolled for the course took home an A in the last semester.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 08:20 IST