Millions Give Up College Entrance Exams in China
In China, the annual college entrance exams are approaching.
However, not all high school students will
participate in this large-scale examination.
Many people have chosen to give up.
In recent years, the number of students in the
college entrance examination had been declining.
Compared with last year, there was a
decrease of 30,000 exams taken this year.
In addition, there are many giving up during the exams,
and the number is likely to reach 1 million this year.
Rural students, and those from elite families, are two major
groups to give up exams, but the reasons are very different.
According to media reports in China, the number of students
enrolling in college entrance exams in 2009 was 10.2 million.
This was a first decline in the number the exam takers,
and 840,000 high school graduates did not take the exam.
After 2009, the number of entrants declined continually,
from 9.57 million in 2010 to 9.33 million in 2011.
There were 9.15 million in 2012, and there
is a further reduction of 30,000 in 2013.
In the past three years, those who
gave up the exam were about 800,000.
In recent years, the number of people who gave
up the exam had been increasing at 10,000 a year,
and reached about 1 million people this year.
It is reported that among those who gave up
their exams, rural students form the majority.
This is because of difficulties in finding
a job, which accounts for about 60%.
Qiao Mu, is an associate professor of journalism
in Beijing Foreign Languages University.
Qiao believes two mains reasons for giving up exams are
difficulty finding employment, and expensive tuition fees.
Qiao Mu: “On the one hand, and in
the long run, employment is difficult.
Secondly, they need to pay tuition, even if admitted.
Especially during recent years, university enrollment
extension is aimed primarily at lower level colleges.
In other words, enrollment in local institutions
is very large, and absorbs most of the students.
However, the colleges tuition is not low priced at all.
In the short term, they cannot afford to pay
tuition; and long term, employment is difficult.
So finally, they give up their exams.”
Qiao Mu analyzes that difficulty finding employment for
college graduates had short-term and long-term causes.
The short term causes are structural contradictions.
China had rapid economic growth in the past two years.
In 2013, consumption is weak, especially
with the financial crisis still there.
Ultimately, it affected the Chinese
export and manufacturing industries.
In the long run, China has some institutional
contradictions, such as the household registration system.
Qiao Mu: “Specifically on employment, if our students now
want to solve their so-called household registration status,
they can only choose to go to the national ministries
or state owned enterprises, or public institutions.
Only these three departments can
change household registration status.
Most units, such as private enterprises, or some other
companies, cannot solve household registration status.
But employment in these three units is actually
declining, and there are not so many jobs.”
CEO Cao Siyuan of Beijing Siyuan Social
Science Research Center commented.
If after graduating college, it is still very difficult
to find a job, people will not want to go to college.
Cao Siyuan: “We have a new opinion that study is useless.
It is not easy to find a job after studying, and the wage is
not high. Some people have a view that studying is useless.
Their enthusiasm towards entrance exams has declined.”
According to reports, many rural students
were finally admitted to local colleges,
but employment afterwards is very difficult.
Some high school graduates go
out to work in the private sector.
They can earn over 2,000 yuan a month, which has prompted
many students to give up the college entrance examinations.
In contrast with the rural students, another group giving
up on the exams are children from high-income families.
Many of them choose to study abroad after graduating
from high school, reducing the number of exam entrants.
According to statistics, from 2009 to 2012,
the number of students studying abroad
had an annual growth rate of over 20%.
In 2011, nearly 340,000 people went to study
abroad. In 2012, there were more than 400,000.
The Affiliated High School of Shanghai International
Studies University had 330 graduates this year.
This included 110 recommended to domestic universities,
and 140 students admitted to universities abroad.
Cao Siyuan pointed out that high school students
of elite families going abroad to study reflected
the Chinese university education had fallen behind.
To change this situation, the first thing to do is for a
professor to run school, not politicians to run school.