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Chinese expats find jobs after graduation

By  Luo Wangshu (China Daily)

09:04, June 19, 2012

Xu Yi, the head of a section at COWI China, a Danish environmental consulting company in Beijing, still feels she is at school after working for more than five years.

"The project I do right now is exactly the same as I did at school in Denmark," the 30-year-old said, showing satisfaction with her overseas studies.

When Xu went to Copenhagen for her master's degree in 2004, she was fresh out of Zhejiang University, one of the prestigious universities in China.

"They (Danish education) provided me practical skills to solve problems, rather than working on questions in textbooks," the environmental engineering graduate said.

Xu is the one of a growing number of Chinese students studying in Denmark.

In the 2000-01 academic year, there were only 216 Chinese students studying full degrees in Denmark. That had risen to almost 1,200 students in 2009-2010, according to the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

Chinese students in Denmark not only gain knowledge from universities, but also contribute to, or will contribute to, the local society.

A prediction from the Danish Chamber of Commerce in 2009 said that Denmark will face a severe shortage of educated workers in the coming years due to the sparse population.

The gap will reach 30,000 in the labor market in 2030, and social science and engineering graduates will be in high demand.

According to the Ministry of Education website, China had about 30 million students receiving education in higher institutes in 2009, arguably the biggest human capital market.

After gaining her master's degree from the Technical University of Denmark, Xu found a job there. "It is not that hard to find a job here, at least half of my Chinese friends got job offers after graduation," she said.

In September 2011, the Innovation Center Denmark launched the Sino-Danish Network in China, aiming to promote Danish study and career opportunities to Chinese students and professionals.

"Denmark has a green card policy that allows graduates who have not yet gained job offers to stay one to three years, depending on students' background, such as schools, majors, etc. It increases Chinese students' employment opportunities in Denmark," said Wang Lulu, head of the consulting department at the Beijing branch of Studyadviser, a cultural and educational exchange company between Northern Europe and Asia, especially China.

"Students in Denmark have many internship opportunities, preparing for job hunting in the future," said Wang, adding that Denmark has high quality education, with a few top prestigious universities and high-ranking business schools.

"The high quality of life is also attractive," she said.

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