Southern People Weekly magazine interviewed Wu Qidi, former deputy education minister, for her thoughts on the impact of social environments on schooling, perceived differences between Western and Chinese educational systems, and graduate unemployment. Translated by Global Times, below is an excerpt of the interview. In response to a question on the main cause for graduate unemployment:
The prime cause is not the expanding of university enrollment, but a structural surplus – every graduate wants to be an official in a big city, but there are not enough such positions. Meanwhile, there are many vacancies which graduates are not interested in.
Why can’t we enhance the appeal of these vacancies? Offering high salaries would be a good start.
Before the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), you could get 80 yuan ($11.71) per month in Xinjiang, while in Beijing you would only make 46 yuan ($6.74). But now, with the situation reversed, who wants to work in western China?
Why doesn’t the government reflect on the situation? It’s unreasonable to put all the stress on the educational sector, blame the low employment rate of graduates on universities, and made the employment rate president-performance-related. No other countries do such things.