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School is in, recession kept out

[ 2009-12-01 11:54]     字号 [] [] []  
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The number of applicants of postgraduate studies has hit an all-time high, according to the Ministry of Education, as the job market recovers at a sluggish pace.

Approximately 1.4 million are expected to apply for the 2010 national entrance exam for postgraduate studies. The figure is up 13 percent compared to last year.

The increase is obvious: A bleak job market coupled with the global recession.

At least one student with an aim for postgraduate studies said graduate school postpones the pressure of finding a job.

Cong Ying, a sophomore at Beijing International Studies University, is preparing for the 2011 exam and also said that postgraduates could more readily find jobs.

"When major companies and institutions only give interviews to postgraduates, not much options are left for us," she said.

The applicants will compete for 465,000 posts - roughly the same as last year, said the ministry. The admission rate is 33 percent.

The most popular fields of study are business, law and computer sciences, said Gan Yuan, a researcher with Haitian Education, a Beijing-based company providing tutorship on the postgraduate entrance exam.

Top universities including Peking University, Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China attract the largest number of applicants.

The exam is difficult and many study for three years.

"Everyone around me, as far as I've known, is preparing for the exam," said Cong, 21, a marketing major.

The level of a job applicant's degree matters in the interview process, said an unnamed human resources manager with a foreign-invested company.

But the applicant's ability also makes more sense than a degree, he said.

"Among postgraduates, we prefer those from famous universities and those with matching majors with our business," he said.

Other than postgraduate studies, students are also looking for government jobs.

On Sunday, a record 1 million people took the annual civil servant exam across the country for 15,000 posts at more than 130 government departments and agencies.

Last year about 700,000 applicants took the exam.

Liu Junsheng, a researcher for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the large number of applicants for both postgraduate studies and civil servant exams is the result of an accumulation of graduates since 2008. There are also a limited number of jobs available.

Last year about 40 percent of graduates did not find a job, he said.

The ministry has been drafting polices to encourage more graduates to work in smaller cities or in the countryside to ease the tension on the job market.


1. What is the estimated number of people expected apply for the 2010 national entrance exam for postgraduate studies?

2. How many took the exam last year?

3. What percentage of graduates did not find a job?


1. 1.4 million.

2. 700,000.

3. 40 percent.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

School is in, recession kept out

About the broadcaster:

School is in, recession kept out

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.