Shanghai Jiao Tong University will set up credit records for first-year students starting in September in an effort to cultivate honesty. The credit record, a first for domestic universities, will record tuition loan payments, any exam cheating, and breaches of work contracts if students work as interns during their years as an undergraduate.
The data will be sent to recruiting firms along with a student’s personal documents so that potential employers can see their records. Every first-year student will need to sign a letter of commitment promising not to misbehave.
Although specific penalties for violations have yet to be worked out, university officials said a visible record and written commitment would remind students to be honest.
‘It also helps young people prepare for formal credit records, which are still being shaped in the country, once they graduate,’ said Su Zhuojun, an official with Jiao Tong’s student affairs division.
Su said that credit history has become an increasingly hot topic and university students have been put under the microscope after media reports exposed the malpractice of some individuals.
In one case, a local branch of the Agriculture Bank of China filed lawsuits last year against 96 university students who failed to pay back tuition loans. Other cases of small groups cheating on exams and students breaching work agreements were also reported in the media.
Su also said that the personal credit record program would start with undergrads and eventually cover graduate students.