A cooking course has proved very popular among students of Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, since its launch in May, Chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.

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Students taste a hot-pot dish in a cookery class in the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on June 12, 2018. [Photo by An Yuan/Chinanews.com]

Yu Yangzhou, who is in charge of the SJU's catering department, provided a detailed explanation of the cooking course.

Yu said that the optional cooking course is comprised of a total of 32 class hours, during which students will learn to cook 16 classical Sichuan cuisines, such as fish-flavored eggplant, spicy boiled meat slices, stir-fried bean curd in hot sauce, and boiled fish with pickled cabbage and chili.

Students who successfully complete the classes and pass the examinations are expected to obtain two credits, said Yu, adding that so far 15 students have been chosen for the first batch.

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Students learn to cook in a cookery class in the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on June 12, 2018. [Photo by An Yuan/Chinanews.com]

According to Yu, the headteacher teaching the cookery class is a national-level cooking master, who serves at the Sichuan Vocational School of Commerce, and his assistants include managers and chief chefs of SJU's school canteens.

"The reason for the establishment of this course is that the university has found that many graduates cannot cook and ordering takeaway food online is now a part of their life," said Yu.

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Students pose for a group picture in a cookery class in the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on June 12, 2018. [Photo by An Yuan/Chinanews.com]

In addition to cooking, the students are also taught about traditional Chinese food culture, knowledge of ingredients, dietary nutrition and hygiene, as well as Western dining etiquette, Yu said.

Student Liu Jiajun said that the course has provided the students with a good opportunity to learn knowledge from both teaching and practice. "It not only allows us to learn cooking skills, but also develops our teamwork and social skills," Liu said.