Young Chinese embrace affordable universities for elderly

Keen to relieve stress, 27-year-old Shiqi returned to a university campus to start learning yoga and ballet last month. Despite having graduated from university six years ago, she is still the youngest student in both her classes this time around, writes Ding Rui for Sixth Tone.

The classes at the Open University for the Elderly in Beijing’s eastern Dongcheng District are aimed at elderly people. However, young Chinese like Shiqi, who only gave her nickname for privacy reasons, are increasingly signing up for these classes due to the diversity of their offerings as well as their relative cheapness.

The trend can be seen on Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, where there are more than 70,000 posts about taking classes at universities for the elderly. The hashtag “studying at universities for the elderly” has so far garnered over 7.7 million views. Compared to around CNY200 (US$27) to CNY350 yuan (US$48) for a single yoga class in a commercial studio in Beijing, Shiqi’s university charges only CNY450 for 15 one-hour classes. Apart from ballet and yoga, it also holds classes teaching oil painting, Chinese dancing and singing.
Full report on the Sixth Tone site