A recent survey, the Dazhong Daily reported, reveals the problems existing in higher education and university students' outlook on life.
The social research center of China Youth Daily conducted a survey on college education recently and the results are alarming. More than a third (34.7 percent) of the 8,777 students surveyed regretted their decision to attend university. This result sends some dangerous signals that should be watched.
Firstly, problems in our higher educations run across the spectrum, including the setting-up of courses, teaching content and the examination system. Since these often do not meet or reflect adequate social needs, most people who regret choosing a college life believe they have not learned anything useful.
Secondly, due to high unemployment among graduates, many students view the time and money spent on college as a waste. Enrolment expansion has pushed forward the popularization of China's higher education and improved the nation's overall education level. Reversely, however, this has placed great pressure on students' employment.
Finally, many college students have high expectations but, imbued with their self-worth, lack the capacity to realistically assess their chances of employment. Another survey by China Youth Daily further proves this. About 51 percent of graduates who return to work in their home towns do so due to their inability to find a satisfactory job in big cities and the pressure that fellow students exert upon to not return home to work. Such realities obviously go against social needs. It is these deep-rooted ideological bases that lead to regrets about college and to an imbalanced employment structure.
The above survey results clearly highlight problems in higher education, educational management and amongst the students themselves. All these should be adapted to safeguard the healthy development of China's higher education.
A necessary explanation is that those who "regret their college life" do not mean regretting receiving a higher education. These students understand they would undergo deeper regrets all their lives if they had not gone to college.
Actions need to be taken to reform both educational structure and contents, adjust tuition fees and education costs, and help students build a strong and positive outlook on life and values.
(China Daily August 21, 2006)