China to Get Rid of College Majors With Low Employment Rates

China to Get Rid of College Majors With Low Employment Rates

The Chinese Ministry of Education plans to eliminate certain majors as part of an effort to increase the employment rate for college graduates

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5:41 PM HKT, Fri November 18, 2022 1 mins read

On November 14, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China announced that it plans to eliminate certain college majors. The news was part of a report outlining 21 steps the government will take to increase the employment rate of college graduates.

One of the steps calls for colleges and universities to “focus on majors with strong social needs, higher employability, and large talent gaps, and promptly eliminate or update disciplines and majors that no longer meet social needs.”

china unemployment rate, chinese ministry of education, education in China

The 2022 college graduation ceremony at Peking University. Image via Xiaohongshu

This plan comes after a year of record-breaking youth unemployment. In July, the percentage of unemployed youth aged 16 to 24 reached 19.9%.

Therefore, the plan is to eliminate majors with high post-graduation unemployment rates to lower the overall rate of joblessness.

To establish which majors do not live up to the standard, the Ministry of Education said they would conduct broad follow-up surveys on college graduates’ employment status.

Public response to the announcement is largely mixed. Some wholeheartedly agree with the plan, even going so far as to list the majors they believe should be eliminated, including Chinese language and literature, music performance, and human resources.

One Weibo user commented, “There are clearly too many liberal arts graduates. There is no place to put them.”

However, other netizens believe the idea is senseless. A Weibo user wrote, “This is too utilitarian; academics cannot be based on market demand.”

Others are questioning the definition of ‘social needs.’ One netizen said, “Society needs not just technological progress but also cultural heritage. If the most basic elements of Chinese culture are abandoned, our society will eventually become a cold and impersonal machine.”

Besides eliminating specific majors, the Ministry of Education also plans to strengthen relationships between universities and employers, increase support for entrepreneurs, promote military conscription, and implement more employment guidance.

Cover image via VCG

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