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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vericantVericant Providing Local Third-Party Interview Services for Students Applying to Private US High Schools
Editor’s note: Vericant is a China-based third-party, independent interview service that adds verified data through video interviews and writing samples. For more information, visit their website at


American author Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, ” High school is closer to the core of the American experience than anything else I can think of.” In a variety of ways, high school has an even greater influence upon an individual’s personality than does college. As study abroad has increased in popularity, the average age of study abroad students has been falling, and more Chinese families are choosing to let their children study in the United States during high school. Aiming at this market, Vericant is an organization providing local third-party interview services for private US high schools.

Vericant was founded at the end of 2010, its four co-founders having met through playing ultimate frisbee in Beijing. Before we discuss what services Vericant provides, we should mention something else: Vericant is not an agency, nor is it an educational consultancy. As co-founder Kelly Yang told me, Vericant started off as an organization that brought Chinese families to the United States to help students conduct school visits. Since too many people thought the organization was an agency, they had no choice but to change their model.

It’s easy to explain Vericant’s services. They have exclusive partnerships with private high schools in the United States and Canada, and students applying to those schools can take part in a video interview through their services. Once completed, the interview is sent to the schools to review. The form of the interview is a fairly casual conversation of about 10 minutes in length, and Vericant does not tell students in advance what questions will be asked. The final question of the interview is asked in Chinese, showing students in their normal state without any linguistic barriers. Additionally, applicants are asked to complete a thirty-minute written essay that is also sent to schools. Vericant has currently set up testing locations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Why do US high schools need this type of service? There are two main reasons. First, applicants from China often come through agencies, and it’s fairly common for these agencies to produce falsified application materials. There’s no possibility of fraud in these interviews; Vericant uses National ID cards and passports to verify the identities of interviewees. The second reason is that US high schools place great value in certain factors outside of grades and test scores, and these interviews are a way to measure an individual’s overall abilities.

Vericant received a a round of capital investment in 2011, and the company’s next step is to enter the college market. According to their estimates, China currently has around 7000 students applying to US high schools every year, so the college market will be quite large in comparison.

But if Vericant wants to enter the college applicant market, they’ll face competitors in the space who have already gained some ground. This includes InitialView, a company we have previously reported on. There are two major differences between Vericant and InitialView. First is the fact that Vericant conducts mainly interviews for high school applicants, while InitialView specializes in college and job applicant interviews. The more important difference, however, is the nature of the cooperative agreements with schools. According to co-founder Kelly, Vericant currently has exclusive partnership agreements with 35 high schools, though InitialView has non-exclusive agreements with the colleges it works with. Vericant charges a RMB 2499 interview service fee that allows applicants to send their materials to any number of partner schools. InitialView charges RMB 600 for an interview. Kelly said that Vericant is considering adjusting their current service fee system from a flat fee to a per-school fee.

Aside from modifying its interview services, Vericant must take another look at its school partnerships if it enters the college applicant market. Whether public or private, the vast majority of US colleges and universities are non-profit organizations, and are unwilling to sign exclusive cooperative agreements with third-party service providers. Kelly revealed that although Vericant has not formally entered the college market, Claremont McKenna has already proactively requested a partnership with the company. This partnership is non-exclusive, and Vericant is one of several interview methods from which applicants are allowed to choose.


Date of Publication: 3/11/2013


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Military Academy Swindler Steals 1.4 Million RMB From 6 Families

February 25, 2013

Original publication date: 2/25/13 Xinjing News reports: Attend a military academy, become a military officer, work as a government official… six families were cheated out of a total of 1.4 million RMB by a man surname Diao because of their wishes to give their children a brighter future. Recently, Mr. Diao was sentenced to eleven […]

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2012 Events in Study Abroad (part 2)

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September: Online Study Abroad Agencies Attracting Customers With Low Prices are Unreliable Pay agents just 600 RMB and get an offer from a school, and you don’t even have to pay until you’ve received the offer! Does that grab your attention? Since September, an account on Sina Weibo’s study abroad-related groups going by the name […]

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2012 Events in Study Abroad (part 1)

January 10, 2013

A serving of events from study abroad around the world The calendar has already turned past 2012. This year, study abroad policies from around the world were good overall, though  student safety incidents did occur occasionally (including issues of a personal, academic, and financial nature). We can’t help but sigh a bit. Going abroad is […]

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