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Bachelor Thesis May Be Losing Value, Says Expert
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A recent report in the Beijing Morning Post indicates that the bachelor's thesis, formerly a barometer of student's talents, may be losing its relevancy with many undergraduates putting it low on their priorities list. In their final year of studying, they seem more bent on discovering a good job in China's persistently opaque job market, leading some experts to urge scrapping the thesis altogether.


During their final semester in college, students see many demands on their time such as engaging in job interviews, employment fairs or internships, allowing their theses to fall by the wayside.  


Plagiarism is thus becoming rife with the Internet being a popular source for people to copy vast passages of text, with little or no research of their own.


"A good job can benefit me in the future, but what can a good academic thesis do for me?" one college student responded.


As this apathy engulfs more and more students, the affected faculty often seems more irritated than understanding. Many teachers are sympathetic though, comprehending that finding a job and securing their future takes priority for their wards over submitting a thesis. Some professors, speaking anonymously, revealed that they have regularly pared down the value of the thesis in order to better to accommodate students' needs.


Some experts are beginning to propose the next step, namely scrapping the bachelor thesis altogether. Tu Yanguo, a professor at Huazhong Normal University, said that this would be preferable than simply go through the motions. As higher education has attracted a larger chunk of society, thesis composition has lost its value, especially since it is often unrelated to one's future vocation, he said.


Tao Dongfen, a professor at Beijing Capital Normal University, echoed that although the thesis should not be mandatory to completing a degree, the skills that are learnt in so doing remained relevant and should be assimilated throughout a student's college education.


(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2007)

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