Don’t ex­ag­ger­ate sec­ond-tier cities’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties to at­tract grad­u­ates

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 11 Comment Editorial • Opinion -

ABOUT 8.2 MIL­LION COL­LEGE STU­DENTS will grad­u­ate in China this year, a record high. A sur­vey of grad­u­at­ing stu­dents found that 60 per­cent want to work in sec­ond-tier cities, while 30 per­cent are hop­ing to work in first-tier cities, with the re­main­ing 10 per­cent plan­ning to work in third- and fourth-tier cities. Guang­ming Daily com­ments:

The re­sults of the sur­vey should be a sooth­ing balm to the may­ors of some sec­ond-tier cities, who have been rack­ing their brains over ways to at­tract ed­u­cated young peo­ple.

How­ever, the sur­vey, which also ex­plains the rea­sons be­hind the young peo­ple’s choices, should also shat­ter any sense of com­pla­cency, as it is not the op­por­tu­ni­ties, ca­reer de­vel­op­ment prospects or liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments of sec­ond- and third-tier cities that ap­peals to young peo­ple, but the com­par­a­tively lower hous­ing prices in smaller cities.

Cheaper hous­ing out­weighs all the other three afore­men­tioned fac­tors when fresh grad­u­ates are mak­ing their job choices.

It means that once hous­ing prices in big cities such as Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Shen­zhen, where China’s best com­pa­nies, schools and hos­pi­tals are con­cen­trated, start fall­ing, which has al­ready been hap­pen­ing over the past six months, or their gov­ern­ments be­gin to as­sign more sub­si­dized hous­ing and pub­lic rental ac­com­mo­da­tion to meet the needs of more new­com­ers, there will be a pre­dictable brain drain from smaller cities.

The first-tier cities have be­come more pru­dent about the size of their pop­u­la­tions, and they have be­come more picky in se­lect­ing only the bad­lyneeded tal­ents, and their high hous­ing prices have, to some ex­tent, be­come a screen­ing thresh­old.

The sec­ond-tier cities should re­al­ize that if they only count on pro­vid­ing cheaper houses to at­tract young peo­ple, some­thing that has al­ready evolved into a fierce com­pe­ti­tion among some of them, the tal­ents they fi­nally se­cure will mostly be sec­ond-tier ones as well, as the top ones still value op­por­tu­ni­ties more than sim­ply a place to live.

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