BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- China expects to see a total of 8.74 million college graduates this year, and the novel coronavirus epidemic has increased the employment pressure on new graduates.
File photo: CGTN
At a press conference on Friday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced measures to lessen the pressure, including launching an online campus recruitment service and expanding the enrollment of master's degree students.
The expanded postgraduate programs will tilt toward majors including clinical medicine and public health.
Graduates from virus-battered Hubei Province will enjoy preferential policies in employment and further education.
PUT CAMPUS RECRUITMENT ONLINE
The MOE Friday launched a 24-hour online campus recruitment service to help graduates find jobs.
"The free service is available on the MOE's campus recruitment portal and five leading job-hunting websites in China, which have all put in place special pages for the project," vice minister Weng Tiehui told the press conference.
The five job-hunting websites are required to strictly verify the job information published.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the MOE had organized 12 online job fairs with the help of authorities in different industries, with another 18 such events on the way, said Weng.
Nearly 20,000 online job fairs are expected to be held in March by local governments and universities, according to Weng.
ENROLL MORE MASTER'S DEGREE STUDENTS
The enrollment of master's degree students in China is likely to increase by 189,000 this year, said Weng.
"Meanwhile, the country's bachelor's degree programs will strive to admit an additional 322,000 junior college students in 2020 compared with the figure last year," she said.
The expansion has taken into account the needs of economic and social development, financial support capabilities and conditions of higher education institutions in China, she noted.
China has 12,000 master's degree awarding centers, with more than 2,000 of the centers established in recent years, according to the MOE.
"The expansion of enrollment will be geared toward sectors that serve the national strategies and those that are urgently needed for social development and people's livelihoods," Weng said.
The expanded enrollment for master's degree programs will tilt toward majors including clinical medicine, public health, integrated circuits and artificial intelligence, while the increased admission of junior college students will target vocational and application-oriented education, including preventive medicine, emergency management, old-age service management and e-commerce.
EXTRA SUPPORT FOR GRADUATES FROM HUBEI
Graduates from epidemic epicenter Hubei Province or from universities in the province will enjoy favorable treatment in master's degree program enrollment as well as government-funded recruitment programs at primary levels and in rural areas, Weng said, adding that more targeted measures will be introduced.
Education authorities will also coordinate special online job fairs for these graduating students in Hubei and persuade employers to prolong recruitment period, Weng added.
She also urged universities to postpone thesis defense and provide convenience to students in handling graduation formalities.