BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhuanet)-- The 2006 national postgraduate examination, which kicked off on Saturday, has attracted a record 1.27 million examinees, up 9 percent over last year's figure, as competition for employment has become increasingly fierce.
Statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that universities across the country will recruit 344,000 postgraduates in 2006. It means one in every four examinees will be recruited.
An increasing number of university graduates choose to hold higher academic degrees, because they face greater employment pressure, Wu Jiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science said in an interview with Xinhua.
"In the 1980's or 1990's, university graduates were destined to have decent jobs, as they were in urgent demand after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), during which university education was suspended. But now, some university graduates have become unemployed, due to continuous recruitment expansion and saturation of employment market in recent years," Wu said.
Statistics showed that there were 2.8 million students graduated from universities in 2004, only 70 percent of them found jobs upon graduation. The number of university graduates for this year is to reach 4 million.
The 4 million university graduates will compete with 2.7 million vocational school graduates, 2.6 million migrant workers, 1 million laid-off workers from state-owned enterprises and other 8.4 million registered unemployed to seek jobs this year.
Hu Xuan, a student majoring finance in Tianjin-based Nankai University, is one of the 1.27 million examinees of this year's national postgraduate exam.
"I studied around the clock for preparing the exam. To be a postgraduate of a well-known university is very difficult, but it will bring me bright career future and higher income," she said.
Hu also visited some job fairs and handed out applications to banks, accounting offices and foreign companies. But so far, there is no any optimistic response. "As a female university graduate in the intense employment competition, the possibility of finding an ideal job upon graduation is quite slim," Hu said.
The country's annual national postgraduate exam comprises speciality exam, English exam and politics exam.
Competition has become increasingly fierce, as the number of examinees rose year by year. In such circumstances, examination cheating was often spotted in previous years.
This year, some new exam rules have been introduced to prevent cheating. For example, a special identification card recognition system has been put into use to check up every examinee's ID card, so as to rule out the possibility that some examinees hired substitutes at the examination by using fake ID cards.