BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to
enroll more college students this year, but the rate of increase will hit its
lowest point in 10 years, the Ministry of Education said recently.
China plans to enroll 5.99 million college students
in 2008, up five percent from the previous year. It includes three million
students for undergraduate education and 2.99 million for college-level
The growth rate, which follows a nine-year downward
trend, will hit its lowest point in 2008 since China first expanded college
enrollment in 1997.
The ministry did not give the reason for the trend
but a rising rate of unemployment in China is a possible factor.
About 20 percent of university students who graduated
in 2007 have so far failed to find employment, according to a blue paper issued
by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Many college graduates have turned to civil service.
This resulted in highly competitive civil servant recruitment examinations.
Since China began organizing the examinations in
1994, the civil service has become one of the most popular professions of job
seekers as it offers a stable income, high social status and good welfare
In 2007, more than 530,000 applicants competed for
12,700 government jobs -- 42 people competing for each position on average.
This year, more than 800,000 applicants will sit for
the civil service examination in December, according to a statement on the