If post-graduation starts trending, nation will miss nation-builders – China Daily
The College of Civil and Transportation Engineering at Shenzhen University recently surveyed students who are due to graduate in 2023 and found that 186 of the 268 surveyed undergraduates, or 69.4 percent of the total, intend to pursue post-graduate studies.
According to “conservative” estimates by some education agencies, around 5.2 million undergraduates are expected to apply for the 2023 national postgraduate entrance examination, 630,000 more than the 4.57 million who applied in 2022.
However, to build China into an education hub, the country should promote the quality of higher education and improve higher education personnel training. It should also promote undergraduate colleges and guide students to make rational and scientific academic and life development plans.
Before 2015, less than 40 percent of college graduates sat the postgraduate entrance exam, and those universities with a higher application rate were even derided as “postgraduate entrance exam bases”.
The increasing trend of undergraduate students continuing their studies has a lot to do with employers today giving preference to candidates with higher academic degrees from famous universities. As a result, some undergraduate colleges even encourage freshmen to take the postgraduate entrance examination.
More students wanting to pursue postgraduate studies increases the pressure on the country’s higher education system. If colleges that are supposed to cultivate high-quality applied or technical talents blindly push them to pursue higher education, it will be difficult for them to cultivate high-skilled talents to meet the needs of society. Also, of more than 70 percent of undergraduates who sit for the postgraduate entrance examination, only about 20 percent succeed, causing the remaining undergraduates to feel very embarrassed when they enter the job market.
According to a statistical bulletin issued by the Ministry of Education in 2021, the gross enrollment rate of higher education in China has reached 57.8 percent and the country has actually entered the stage of popularized higher education. It means there is greater space for developing undergraduate education, because the country needs more applied and skilled talents rather than more academic talents. Pursuing further large-scale development of postgraduate education is not necessarily going to be helpful for the country.
In order to become a knowledge power, China should scientifically plan its educational development based on society’s demand for talents. It should encourage colleges to concentrate on providing students with the most suitable education, rather than stimulating the postgraduate entrance examination enthusiasm.
-BEIJING YOUTH DAILY
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