What do Sun Yat-sen University and Hogwarts have in common? More than you think. Based in Guangzhou and regarded as one of China’s top universities, Sun Yat-sen has made headlines by offering a course based on the novels of JK Rowling.
Not in literary studies, either. The university’s Zhongshan School of Medicine now offers an elective entitled ‘Harry Potter and Genetics’ which takes 20 hours, carries one credit and requires that students have “interest in Harry Potter novels or films”. China National Radio tracked down a lecturer from the college who confirmed it was a genuine option and not a joke. Chen Suqin told the station that there was much in the Potter tales that had genetic application and that should be of interest to students – such as cats or people of different colours. The lecturer added that the study of genetics is usually “dry” but she hoped that the Potter elective would sustain the interest of the 100 students taking it.
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