Universities roll out high-tech tools for students' check-ins

Yang Meiping
Shanghai colleges are using facial recognition and new communication systems to help students settle into campus life.
Yang Meiping

As more universities in Shanghai welcomed new students over the weekend, many used high-tech devices and special measures to make the check-in process more convenient.

At Fudan University, registration took only about two seconds for each student thanks to facial recognition devices on its four campuses. Students can also use the university’s mini application, which uses facial recognition, lip reading and positioning technologies, to register anywhere on the campuses.

For students with difficulties and special needs, the university opened a green channel. Xu Ran, a new Chinese major who recently tore a ligament while playing basketball, got special permission to allow his father to drive him onto campus on day early and help him settle into his dorm. Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, most parents are prohibited from entering campuses.

At the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, eight well disinfected shuttle buses were busy carrying students from Metro stations to its campuses. One hundred trolleys provided by the Pudong International Airport and 20 shuttle vehicles are on standby for students to carry their luggage from the university gate to their dorms. More than 50 teachers and over 400 students volunteered to welcome the newcomers.

“I was worried it would be a troublesome journey for me to travel from my hometown in Jiangxi Province to the university, but it turned out to be very smooth and easy,” said Zhou Yirong, a new student at the school of management.

This year, the university is streamlining registration with its Welink system. The system can also automatically create communication groups for each class, so teachers and students are already connected before the semester starts.

“Our teachers have already informed us of pandemic prevention measures and garbage-sorting rules in Shanghai and I’ve also talked about campus life with my classmates,” said Sun Hong, a new electronic information major. “We’ve been looking forward to seeing each other on campus.”

On Welink, students can also use digital campus cards to pay in canteens and stores at the university, apply for student loans, navigate with the campus map, check garbage dumping sites and read about historical buildings on campus.

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