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January 23, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

City colleges could lose out if graduates can't find jobs

THE city government could spend less on universities with a low graduate employment rate in the future.

Shen Xiaoming, Shanghai's vice mayor, said yesterday that setting up a link between the number of graduates finding work and government investment was aimed at encouraging colleges to help graduates find jobs and curb over-enrollment.

"Things go wrong when colleges only enlarge annual enrollment while not attending the students when they graduate," Shen said.

The proposal came at a meeting addressing boosting job prospects for this year's 168,000 graduates.

Career prospects for graduates were "still grim," said Xue Mingyang, director of the Shanghai Education Commission, adding that graduates "should not be too optimistic."

About 90 percent of the city's 158,000 city graduates last year have found jobs, although figures for the unemployment rate were not released. The employment rate is 87 percent nationwide.

Shen said there should be discussion over connecting the employment rate with the investment. The money that colleges can get would be tied to its employment rate.

To prevent colleges falsifying their graduate employment rate to get more investment, the city government will improve the method of collecting information and strengthen supervision to make the process more transparent.

Education officials are to advise universities to limit enrollment in some college majors which are unpopular in the job market.

But details of those "unpopular majors" will not be made public, officials said.

The city government also unveiled measures to increase job opportunities. Graduates are being encouraged to teach in rural areas and serve in the western region of China where the economy is still underdeveloped.

The government will also give subsidies to graduates who start their own businesses.

They will also have a chance to share in an 8 million yuan (US$ 1.17 million) reward fund.

"As long as the graduates are not too picky," said Zhou Haiyang, director of the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, "we are confident that there will be enough jobs for them."


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