updated 10/17/2006 10:55:50 AM ET 2006-10-17T14:55:50

A Chinese university is requiring law and business students to take golf lessons to prepare them for a business world where deals are made on the links, the state news agency reported Tuesday.

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Xiamen University in the southeastern city of Xiamen joins a growing number of Chinese schools offering golf lessons, but is unusual in making them a required class.

Golf classes start in two months and will be required for economics and computer software majors, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing university president Zhu Chongshi.

“The aim is to help the students find good jobs,” a sports professor at the school, Chen Xiao, was quoted as saying. “Many Chinese business deals are clinched on golf courses.”

Elite Peking University set off a debate over whether golf is appropriate for China, where most people still live in poverty, when it announced in August that it was building a practice green.

Some students complained the sport was too elitist, but supporters defended it as a healthy social activity.

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