Peking & Yale University Videos Spur Debate on Academic Intent

PKU front gate.

Peking University Promotional Video

Yale University Promotional Video

Recently, two online promotional videos from Peking University and Yale University led to debate regarding the role of student life and academia in promoting the campus. The Peking University (PKU) video featured numerous shots of the scenic campus interlaced with historical photos. The Yale video on the other hand focused on student life from the student’s point of view.

Even though the videos are from years ago, the post on popular Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo attracted nearly 10,000 reposts and mainstream coverage where netizens argued over which video better depicts their school’s academic mission. Some felt the PKU video looked like a tourism promotion, and one netizen concluded that “Yale’s advantage is in the students, while PKU’s advantage is in scenery; Yale’s confidence is in its present, PKU’s confidence is in its past.”

However, a PKU professor stated that the two videos were made for different purposes. The PKU video was intended as a video promoting the school’s history and academics, while the Yale video was mainly a recruitment video. Still, Chinese commenters pointed out that recruitment videos focusing on student life is an aspect missing from Chinese universities.



Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai


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