Education has been a hot topic for quite some time in China. Although the literacy rate is relatively high, there is, by no means, equality of education across the board and in the past several years, statistics show that the access of young children to primary education has dropped. Needs exist across the board from children to women to college students and even college graduates. Below you’ll find a survey of the issues through recent articles on the subject.
Elusive Education Reform: Two opinion pieces came out recently in China Daily exploring the issue of education reform in the country. As “China’s Quiet Education Revolution” explains, much progress has been made, but there are still issues not well addressed such as gender inequality. In another article on China’s “Elusive Education” reform, an educator examines the good and bad of reform efforts by one provincial education bureau.
Chinese Universities are facing “insurmountable debt”: The China Education Blog highlights some of the reasons that Chinese universities are financially underwater with debt totally around 500 billion RMB, or 73 billion U.S. dollars, in 2006. The amalgamation of smaller universities and infrastructure expansion are two of the reasons for these sky high bills.
Graduates in China Fear the Future: In March, New York Times featured the problem of college graduates in China and their slim employment prospects in Room for Debate. A number of experts both in and outside of China weighed in on the matter highlighting the issues for college graduates. Here are a few facts and opinions:
- College enrollment in the early 2000 rose significantly with graduates increasing from 9.5 million in 2000 to a whopping 37.8 million in 2006.
- China currently has around 3 million unemployed college graduates.
- In many cases, college graduates’ salaries barely exceed that of uneducated migrant workers.
- About one quarter of those who study abroad return to work in China and their qualifications usually win out over those who studied in local universities.
- Although there are shining stars, the collegiate education system in general has not produced the skills needed in the business world. The teaching methods have not encouraged creativity or the ability to find new solutions to problems.
- After going to the cities for university, graduates want to stay there instead of returning to less developed areas thus further straining the unemployment issue.
- Graduates are being forced to take lower their expectations and sometimes to take jobs outside of their major.
- Despite the current difficulties, several of those who commented in the article said they believe the middle class will continue to grow and that graduates will be rewarded with good jobs.
Finding a Job after Graduation: The LA Times profiles a recent university graduate as he tries to make his way in the world on $65 a month.