Bo po mo fo! Shanghai’s universities will be offering preparatory courses for incoming foreign students soon, with ‘one or two’ universities taking part in a pilot program this September. Currently only offered at Tongji University, the prep courses mostly focus on acclimating students to Chinese language and ‘culture’ (which most likely means making dumplings, fumbling through calligraphy and the odd chengyu here and there). Special ‘academic shortfall’ makeup courses in math, physics and chemistry will also be available for quantitatively disinclined Western humanistic education products. Not that we could quantify it or anything, but we’d argue that the square root of certain countries’ national debt problems might be a widespread cultural aversion to mathematic thinking. But then again, there’s something to be said for de-emphasizing cold numbers in favor of artsy-fartsiness, no? Any sensitive poet would be within their rights to poo-poo the People’s Square metro for not ‘singing’ enough.