China As It Is

China’s higher education: debt and unemployment

According to the statistics of Bank of China, the debt of China universities has accumulated to the tune of RMB200 billion. The No.1 borrower is Jilin University (RMB3 billion debt), followed by Guangdong Industrial University (RMB2.3 billion debt), Zhengzhou University (RMB2.1 billion debt), Nanchang University and Guangzhou University (RMB2 billion debt respectively).

It is the first time that the China Government has admitted to the scale of debt problem faced by the higher education institutions.

Another higher education problem in China is the scale of unemployment among university graduates. China’s Ministry of Education predicts that this year there will be over one million graduates who cannot land a job.

I recall that when I ran a language school business in Hangzhou, eastern China, a graduate in international business came for job interview. She was then working as an assistant in a university’s Chinese language program. Asked why she chose to study for international business when the chance for her to work in a related profession is remote, she just smiled. She was not able to give an answer. You will guess it right. I didn’t hire her.

And major in international business in a university in Hangzhou?? Where to find the real expertise to teach such a subject? She may forget that Hangzhou is a tourist city, not a business city.

Maybe the kind of choice some China students make is partly to blame for their unemployment upon graduation.

By Anna

With a wanderlust and lusts of other sorts, I look to sth new, sth different, sth fulfilling, and find myself on a journey...

3 replies on “China’s higher education: debt and unemployment”

i think the problem is, China is a very populous country. When there are just so many people and opportunity is few (in comparison), it is just hard to compete and survive.

I agree with the above poster’s points – there are plenty of jobs available but I wouldn’t exactly call most of these students “snobs” although some may have the mentality. Working in factories or shops or restaurants – do you really need a university degree to work in one of these places?

If I knew the best job I’d get after college would be dishwasher I probably wouldn’t go to college at all. Why spend the money and time? I think human nature expects that these students want to find better paying and satisfying jobs after spending all that time and money on their university degrees. Either way you cut it, the situation sucks for a lot of college grads in China.

The idea that the “scale of unemployment among university graduates” is high and “that this year there will be over one million graduates who cannot land a job.” is nonsense.

A university graduate in China can land any job they want to. They are educated above the normal Nine years of schooling at the Primary and middle school levels.

The problem is that these university graduate’s expectations are far too high. They all want to be “white collars” upon graduation. They shun taking jobs that they would be hired for immediately if they applied for them, such as working in factories or shops or restaurants. Those jobs they consider beneath them. But, there are a lot of them on offer. The graduates just don’t want them.

So instead these snobs stay at home, waiting to be offered a job as a CEO of a major company, and pretend to be studying for years for an examination to win a scholarship to pursue an advanced degree.

Unlike in the west, in China, if you are a university graduate, it is considered better to be unemployed than underemployed. That’s the true problem.

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