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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Chinese university in golf drive
Golf course in Guangzhou
Golf has grown in popularity in China
Golf lessons are going to be made compulsory for some students at one Chinese university, reports say.

The president of Xiamen University in south-east China was quoted as saying it would help produce "socially elite people with the best education".

Golf, once frowned upon by China's Communist Party, is now enjoyed by the country's rich and powerful, and has grown in popularity in recent years.

One critic accused the university of "vulgar elitism", state media reported.

Zhu Chongshi, president of Xiamen University in Fujian province, said golf lessons would be on offer to all students in the next two months.

But he said those majoring in management, law, economic and software engineering courses would "be required" to take the course, the China Daily newspaper reports.

"Golf is not only good exercise, but will teach students communication skills and benefit their future careers," he was quoted as saying.

"The highest embodiment of the education system is producing socially elite people with the best education."

Alex Jin, President of the Centre for International Education Group, was quoted as saying: "To try to make golf compulsory is rather vulgar. China can ill afford golf."

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