The number of college students in China will reach 10.76 million this year, exceeding the 10 million mark for the first time, due to the epidemic’s impact and Zero-Covid measures.

Besides, the average urban survey unemployment rate from January to April was 5.7% on average. That figure for April only reached 6.1%, up 0.3% from the previous month. 18.2% of people from 16 to 24 years old were jobless, which is a record high.

In an exclusive interview with “China New Observation” of Chinanews.com, Jin Li, the acting vice president of the Southern University of Science and Technology, presented his idea. 

He said that past hot job sectors for student employment and recruitment, including the Internet, education and training, and real-estate-related industries, are under tremendous pressure. The economic downturn and the epidemic’s impact on the supply chain prevent small and medium-sized enterprises from recruitment.

To reduce the unemployment rate, Jin Li suggests that the Ministry of Education urgently grant special admissions and mobilize universities to expand graduate and dual degree programs. Besides, universities should adopt a flexible academic system that allows students to postpone graduation while retaining their freshman status. Therefore, these students can stay on campus for an extra year or two to improve their qualifications.

Jin Li’s suggestion has sparked heated debate among netizens.

Some ask whether delaying graduation can cover up the employment rate.

Another netizen says many companies lay off employees at the age of 35. The status of fresh graduates is delayed for three years, so they don’t have to grow up to be three years older.

Some think that experts should have hands-on experience in real life for a few months before lecturing others.

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