Xi Jinping
China has decided to set up a national university for the elderly to cope up with the rapidly ageing society and declining fertility. The university will function under the state-run Open University of China and the curriculum will range from foreign languages, computer skills, music and dance to photography, painting, sports, cooking and other crafts and skills, the Global Times reported.

The announcement comes almost a month after China's president Xi Jinping demanded that Beijing "implement a national strategy to actively cope with ageing".

There are more than 267 million people in China aged 60 or older as of 2021 who account for 18.9% of the country's population, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. The number is expected to rise in the coming years and projected to hit 400 million by 2035.

The United Nations earlier said that it expects China's population to start shrinking from next year. Owing to China's one-child policy which ended in 2015, the fertility rate of the country is said to have declined rapidly.

Amidst concerns, China has been encouraging couples to have more children by offering tax breaks, cash handouts, maternity leaves, medical insurance and housing subsidies.