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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Job woes see postgrad applications soar

By Wei Na (Global Times)

08:15, January 09, 2012

Over 1.65 million Chinese took this year's postgraduate entrance examination yesterday, a record number. About 270,000 of the applicants are applying for universities in Beijing.

In the national entrance exams held on Saturday and yesterday, more than 1.65 million applicants vied for the 550,000 available places in Chinese graduate programs. The figure is 10 percent higher than last year, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

There has been an annual increase of more than 100,000 applicants taking the exam owing to intense competition for jobs that have ever-higher requirements.

The number of graduates taking the exam passed 1 million in 2004.

"Over 70 percent of my classmates had prepared about a year for the big exam. I believe more than half are more interested in obtaining a higher degree to get a good job than to pursue enriched knowledge," said Zhang Xin, a student at Minzu University of China, who also took the exams.

Chu Zhaohui, a researcher with the China National Institute for Educational Research, also believed the majority of applicants took the exam in order to "have a better chance of getting a job given the fierce competition that currently exists in the job market."

"I don't think graduate schools are ready in terms of qualified teachers and resources for the rocketing number of students, but enrollment has increased by 130,000 places over three years ago and fewer people took the exam in order to devote themselves to academic research," said Chu.

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