Shrinking Opportunity on China’s Campuses – Edward Cody

From the Washington Post (link):

The Chinese government has decided to slow down an explosive increase in the number of college students in recent years, saying the growth has produced bulging campuses, overworked professors and graduates unable to find suitable jobs.

Overpopulation at Chinese universities has emerged as the latest in a string of problems brought on by the country’s swift economic growth — the downside of progress. Prosperity has enabled more people to buy cars, for instance, but at the price of heavy pollution. Similarly, the number of teenagers whose parents can afford to put them through secondary school has climbed quickly, creating pressure on college slots once reserved for the privileged few.

Although beneficial to millions of families, more-flexible admissions policies adopted at government urging — to take account of the changes — have produced an enrollment increase of nearly 500 percent since 1998, bringing to more than 23 million the number of students at colleges and universities across the country.

The promise of a more educated population serves China well as it seeks to modernize and reform its economy to better compete in the world. But as the economy matures and higher education becomes more common, college graduates are now more likely to face than were their predecessors, whose diplomas nearly guaranteed them a job in business or government.

See also – Christian Science Monitor’s “China goes to college – in a big way” by Amelia Newcomb; – “Most Chinese graduates will not find jobs” by AFP

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