Students Forced to Fake Contracts to Boost Graduate Employment Rates

by elbbj on July 21, 2013

employment contractGoing into the final third of July, the job hunts of graduating students are coming to an end. According to the Mycos Research Institute’s newest publication, Class of 2013 University Graduation Employment Contract Analysis Report, the so-called “job seeking hardship” comes mainly from structural conflicts, with a mismatch between available posts and the students’ ideal positions. Now, departments handling graduating student employment are “artificially inflating” employment rate statistics, causing much concern.

This report uses statistics from internet surveys from October of 2012 to the end of June of 2013. The number of valid responses received totaled 59,409.


Hard to find a job suitable for the major

Among the students graduating in the 2013 who were surveyed, the most often cited reason for not having signed an employment contract was “difficulty in finding a job that matches my major” (42%). This is related to requirements of various positions, and also reflects a discrepancy between the training received by students and the needs of society.

Among graduating students surveyed, MA students had an 85% match rate between major and job, while undergraduates matched 73% of the time, and technical school students matched 67% of the time. The higher the level of education, the higher the match rate between major and job. This is particularly connected to the training received by the different types of graduates, with a higher level of education meaning the area of work is more specialized.


Artificially inflated employment rates

Links accompanying the report pointed out an issue worth our attention, that of “fake employment” inflating graduate employment rates. A few universities require students to sign employment contracts or else prohibit them from defending their graduation thesis and receiving their diplomas. In order to deal with the schools, some students produced fake stamped “employment agreement” documents on their own, going on Taobao and spending hundreds to buy such documents, then paying grocery store bosses a few kuai to stamp the document. And in the end, these employment contracts are calculated as part of this year’s graduate employment rate by the employment-related offices at the school.

Xiong Bingqi, the Vice-Chancellor of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, explained that graduate employment rates have already become a “governance track record project” in various locations. As for higher education, employment rates can mean not only life or death for a major, but also a shift in the school’s image and new student recruitment. Since it has become entangled with these interests, it’s not surprising to see fraud in the graduate employment rate. Xiong suggests that the method of calculation for employment rates needs to change, entrusting their calculation to a publicly accountable third party organizations, and avoiding schools looking for a quick boost by falsifying data.

Original publication date: 7/21/2013


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