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True graduate employment rates required

China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-12 07:37

AS CHINA EXPECTS a total of 7.95 million college students to graduate in 2017, the Ministry of Education recently issued a notice not only encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation among them, but also banning universities from forcing graduates to sign fake employment contracts. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Friday:

It is not rare that some college graduates are "employed" by unknown employers without their consent, just because the universities want decent employment figures for their graduates, which they can subsequently flaunt. Some colleges go even further and threaten to withhold graduates' diplomas if they do not find a job by a certain date.

The audacity of these colleges is a result of how many graduates find a job on leaving campus still plays a role in the destiny of their majors. As a result, students in their last year in college are "encouraged" to make job-seeking their priority, leaving limited time for them to focus on their courses and dissertations. Some of them will even purchase forged contracts from online merchants to stop the college's constant pestering.

The truth is the number of the first-time employed graduates should not be manipulated by the colleges because it tells little about the real graduate employment situation. The data is normally collected by universities themselves, hence is likely to be exaggerated as a result of their recruitment concerns. The responsible educational authorities, too, may turn a deaf ear to any doubts about the authenticity of the numbers in order to avoid increasing their workload.

Besides, nearly 30 percent of the surveyed graduates will change their jobs within six months, and most of those failing to land a job immediately after graduating will be employed not long after, according to recent survey results. That is why many foreign universities tend to look at long-term employment rates, for example, over three or five years, with the data collected by third-party organizations.

Such an approach gives more time for students to finish their coursework and seek jobs, and offers more accurate findings in regards to graduates' employment situation. Chinese universities have all the more reason to follow this approach as almost 8 million graduates will be looking for a job when they graduate next year.


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