Shanghai University became a laughingstock of the internet last month after administrators moved a required 50-meter swimming test online due to the city’s COVID-19 lockdown.
Proficiency in swimming is a graduation requirement at some of China’s top universities because of the associated health and safety benefits. This year’s test, however, was limited to a “Basic Theory of Swimming” questionnaire with a May 29 deadline.
The school said that the decision was made to “ensure that the graduation process proceeds smoothly” amid Shanghai’s COVID-19 outbreaks.
The news soon went viral as the hashtag “Shanghai University swimming test changed to online assessment” received more than two million views in a single day on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.
“Are the students supposed to swim in their bathtubs?” one Weibo user asked. Another asked if it was the new version of “surfing the web.” Others shared videos pretending to swim by diving in bed with goggles and a swim cap.
The whole situation seemed like a comedic bit straight out of The Big Bang Theory.
Shanghai reopened June 1 after a two-month lockdown due to COVID-19.