Free rice and mineral water donated for Xiamen University students to promote gratitude and conservation

By Lin Xiaoyi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/18 22:01:22

Xiamen University Photo: CFP

Xiamen University students will be able to enjoy rice and mineral water without spending any money for the next 10 years. The move has sparked heated debate on the internet, with many netizens questioning whether free food and water will cause waste.

The Shenzhen Alumni Association of Xiamen University announced on Saturday they will spend 66.6 million yuan ($9.85 million) from 2021 to 2030 to pay for rice and mineral water for all students at their alma mater. 

Based on the current number of about 40,000 students at Xiamen University, the association would recommend an alumnus or a group to donate 6.66 million yuan each year. As of the morning of October 17, funding for the first six years has been pledged by alumni. Alumni said the decision was made to nurture and pass on the gratitude of education.

In 2008, Xiamen University began offering free rice to its students. It was the first time that expenditure has been pledged by alumni, who said the decision was made with gratitude for the school's nurturing.

Many netizens expressed their admiration and hope to study at Xiamen University in the future, but some argued free food may make students less appreciative and lead to waste.

According to a survey conducted by the Shenzhen alumni Association, the amount of leftovers in the canteen fell by 30% the first year the school offered free rice. The canteen at Xiamen University has also launched a series of food saving initiatives, such as setting up rice sharing places where students can increase or decrease the rice according to their own needs.

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