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The hike in China's university tuition fees is beyond what people can pay, a survey showed on Monday. |
The survey prepared by the China Youth Daily revealed as many as 86.1 per cent of the 18,523 respondents believed China's university tuition fees are too high.
A total of 43.7 per cent of respondents agreed the fees should be in accordance with people's ability to pay.
The fees jumped from 100 yuan (US$12) per semester in 1989 to some 5,000 yuan (US$641) nowadays, a dramatic 25 fold increase in nearly 20 years, state media reported. Two-thirds of students come from impoverished regions and their families make an annual average of 4,000 yuan (US$512).
"It is an indisputable fact that charges for higher education are a bit too high today. Middle- and low-income families are facing difficulties in affording their children's schooling," the Oriental Morning Post reported.
Zhang Baoqing, deputy Minister of Education said the present tuition rates are beyond the financial capacity of most.
Zhang's words came at a time when China's university education system is facing growing skepticism in the face of skyrocketing tuition fees and a saturated employment market.
The number of graduates reached a record high of 4.95 million in the past year, according to data released by the Ministry of Education.
Employment prospects for the bulk of graduates looked bleak.
As many as 30 per cent, or 1.48 million students will graduate without a job. The plight of graduates competes with that of migrant worker's harsh living and working conditions for national attention.
The average starting monthly salary for an undergraduate is as low as 1,000 yuan (US$128), while that of a migrant worker who generally has a junior school education is 1,100 yuan (US$141).
The cutthroat employment market has driven job hunters to almost beg for jobs, accepting less than favorable conditions just so they can be employed, sparking nationwide speculation over the eight-year university enrollment expansion policy that started in 1999.
In 1998, the number of enrollment was 1.8 million. In 2005, the figure swelled to some five million. Cheng Gengdong, President of the Dalian University of Technology and a member of the Chinese Academy of Science told the New Express the expansion in the number of graduates has reached the psychological and economic limit of the government, society and public, which is hazardous.
BTW: My annual tuition fees are 6,000 yuan (US$769), which does not include the accommodation and food! What about yours?
[ Last edited by ushership at 2007-1-16 03:43 PM ]