First day at university in China now means a face scan to enrol

Sarah Dai:

Back-to-school season in China’s universities has become another example of how facial recognition technology is now part of people’s daily lives, as much as social media, mobile payments and online shopping already have.

A growing number of universities are now extending their use of facial recognition to the enrolment registration process, after its initial adoption in applications such as security and recording students’ attendance.

China’s elite Tsinghua University is among the first batch of large academic institutions that have implemented face scans to expedite the enrolment process this month, when the school welcomed more than 3,800 new undergraduate students at its campus in Beijing. The regular academic year in the country starts in September, though many institutions may hold orientations beforehand.

The university deployed an array of face-scanning machines at designated registration points, which has made enrolment “smarter and more convenient” for both students and the university staff involved in the process, according to the system’s provider, Zhejiang Uniview Technologies, in a social media post on Tuesday.