Experts want curriculum shake-up at Chinese colleges
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-13 10:11:57   Print

    BEIJING, Jan. 13 -- As more young people elect to stay longer at colleges and universities because of the shortage of job opportunities, some education experts and company executives are saying that the current college education system is too academic to help young people find work.

    "We should introduce more vocational programs and market-oriented approaches to our college education system. This could help more students find jobs and better adjust to the world outside," Xu Peili, an official with Shanghai Second Polytechnic University, told Shanghai Daily.

Examinees take exams in University of Science and Techonology of China in Heifei, Anhui Province, Jan.10, 2009. As more young people elect to stay longer at colleges and universities because of the shortage of job opportunities, some education experts and company executives are saying that the current college education system is too academic to help young people find work.  (Xinhua/Guo Chen)
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    Company executives agreed, saying they found a large number of newly employed graduates were too "theoretical" and had to spend a long time learning to meet their job requirements.

    "We also find many of our college graduates set their job expectations too high and become easily depressed by setbacks," Xu said.

    As a member of the city's top advisory body, Xu said she planned to suggest that local government expand internship programs and provide better incentives for students and companies.

    "If the period for government-organized internships is extended and better incentives are offered, students will have more time to learn from practical work experience," she said.

    The education authority said 96,456 people from throughout the country sat for post-graduate entrance examinations at the weekend, competing for places at 54 Shanghai colleges and institutions. There were 6.6 percent more candidates than a year earlier.

    Small chance

    Of these 27,300 of them have a chance at winning a place at one of the city colleges.

    Nationally about 1.25 million Chinese students sat the examinations competing for hundreds of thousands of openings. More than half, won't be able to continue their education.

    The local education authority said not only were more graduate students trying to continue studies at college, but more company employees in Shanghai were also seeking to return to study for post-graduate degrees.

    A worsening job market caused by the global economic crisis is the main reason.

    As the global economic downturn starts to take effect on recruiting especially within the city's financial-sector, more graduates and "while-collar" workers are feeling affected, officials with the Shanghai Education Commission said. A large number of college graduates try to find a career in banking, financial and multinational businesses and now more are seeking a post-graduate education to postpone having to find a job and to increase their chances at finding a better job in the future.

    "I wisely decided to apply for the examinations two months ago. I am lucky because it is now clear how hard it will be to find jobs this year," said one local college student, surnamed Jin. She will be graduating later this year and has applied for a post-graduate program.

    More than 150,000 students will graduate in Shanghai this year. Local government departments are planning policies to stimulate recruitment in the city.

    (Source: Shanghai Daily)

Editor: Jiang Yuxia
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