The city to choose

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Wang Han

A record num­ber 47.95 mil­lion stu­dents grad­u­ated from Chi­nese univer­si­ties and col­leges dais year. And for these grad­u­ates, where to start their ca­reer af­ter grad­u­a­tion is a big deci-sion to make. A re­cent sur­vey shows that 82.66 per­cent of 2017 uni­ver­sity grad­u­ates who re­sponded plan to start their ca­reer in a new city rather than in their home­town; among them, 43:75 per­cent will opt for first•tier cities (Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Shen­zhen and Guangzhou}, while 45.18 per­cent wilt choose sec­ond-tier cities such as Chengdu, Nan­jing, Tian­jin and 4 Hangzhou.

While first-tier Chi­nese cities con­tinue to raise their thresh­olds for res­i­dence per­mits, many sec­ond-tier cities have rolled out a se­ries of pref­er­en­tial poli­cies to woo tar­get grad­u­ates, in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing them with hukou, rent and housing sub­si­dies.

For in­stance, Chengdu, cap­i­tal of Sichuan Province, of­fers grad­u­ates res­i­dency per­mits even be­fore they have found a job. Like­wise, Chang­sha, cap­i­tal of Cen­tral China’s Hu­nan Province, pro­vides grad­u­ates with rent and housing sub­si­dies.

The gov­ern­ment in Wuhan, Hubei Province, also pro­vides low-rent apart­ments to en­tre­pre­neur­ial grad­u­ates who start a busi­ness in the city.

But can these poli­cies re­ally en­tice grad­u­ates and young tal­ents to live and work in sec­ondtier cities? To gain an in­sight into the is­sue, the Global Times in­ter­viewed some Chi­nese uni­ver­sity stu­dents in Shang­hai and abroad.

Bet­ter ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties

Twenty-three-year-old Qiu Tianci from Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, is study­ing fi­nance at Cardiff Uni­ver­sity in the UK, and ex­pects to fin­ish her master’s pro­gram in Novem­ber of 2017.

Qiu told the Global Times that the in­cen­tives launched by sec­ond-tier cities are at­trac­tive to her. “Hukou and housing are big chal­lenges for uni­ver­sity grad­u­ates, and if sec­ond-tier cities can pro­vide grad­u­ates with hukou and housing sub­si­dies, it will greatly re­duce their daily liv­ing pres­sures and there­fore many grad­u­ates might be will­ing to set­tle down in sec­ond-tier cities.”

De­spite this, Qiu said she still plans to go to Bei­jing or Shang­hai to start her ca­reer be­cause she be­lieves first-tier cities will give her bet­ter work op­por­tu­ni­ties and the chance to broaden her hori­zons.

“My ma­jor is in fi­nance and eco­nomics, and I also have overseas study ex­pe­ri­ence. So I think there will be bet­ter work op­por­tu­ni­ties in big cities,” she said. “Also, both of my par­ents strongly ad­vise me to work in first-tier cities for a few years af­ter grad­u­at­ing, be­cause they be­live work and liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Bei­jing or Shang­hai can im­prove my out­look and prospects,"

An­other in­ter­vie­wee, 21-year-old Yuan Qiao­dan from An­hui Province cur­rently stud­ies at Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Uni­ver­sity.

Yuan said the pack­ages launched by sec­ondtier cities are at­trac­tive to her, be­cause they can help re­duce her fi­nan­cial bur­dens af­ter grad­u­a­tion.

“The cost of rent is the main fi­nan­cial hard­ship for grad­u­ates, and many young peo­ple need sup­port from their par­ents to pay rent in big cities. If sec­ond-tier cities can pro­vide housing sub­si­dies to grad­u­ates, it will greatly re­duce young peo­ple’s liv­ing pres­sure,” she told the Global Times.

Apart from the fi­nan­cial as­pect, Yuan added that ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in sec­ond-tier cities are not nec­es­sar­ily fewer than those in first-tier cities.

“The de­vel­op­ment of some in­dus­tries in sec­ond-tier cities has been very rapid. For in­stance, Hangzhou’s In­ter­net and e-re­tail­ing in­dus­tries are among the fore­front of all Chi­nese cities," Yuan added.

In terms of her plans af­ter grad­u­a­tion Yuan said Hangzhou and Shang­hai are her top op­tions. “Dur­ing my un­der­grad­u­ate years in Shang­hai I vis­ited Hangzhou many times. The city left a good im­pres­sion on me be­cause it is de­vel­op­ing so quickly and the ev­ery­day pres­sures are much less than in Shang­hai,” she said. "So if I could find ideal work op­por­tu­ni­ties 8in Hang.

Photo: IC

A young grad­u­ate at a job fair

Pho­tos: IC

(Main) A young grad­u­ate looks at job in­for­ma­tion. (In­set) A job fair

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