However, studying abroad is costly. To make this very large investment in human capital requires high expectations of future income.
Graduate employment prospects are therefore crucial. From what I can gather the pecking order for the top jobs goes something like:
1. TOP Chinese university graduate (top 10 Universities or so)
2. Top UK or US University (added bonus of improved English)
3. Middle ranking Chinese Universities
4. Other overseas Universities
4. Lower ranked Chinese Universities
Anyone who can add more detail to this list or contradict my intuitive feel for this please comment below.
Given the importance of graduate jobs it is perhaps no surprise that the premier seeks to reassure current graduates. This is an important issue although his other concern, return migration from the city to the villages, is arguably more important in terms of country stability.
A list of MSc Economics courses can be found in the left hand column of this blog. The education lable provides University and Economics course rankings.
I will post soon on the results of the recent research exercise in the UK and how this should influence one's choice of postgraduate programme.
Premier reassures university students on jobs amid financial crisis [People's Daily Online]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged to university student that the government would seek to provide more jobs for graduates and "put the issue of graduate employment first."
"Your difficulties are my difficulties, and if you are worried, I am more worried than you," Wen told the students at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Wen made the remarks in a surprise visit on Saturday afternoon after attending the closing ceremony a year-long exchange program between Chinese and Japanese young people together with former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo.
He said the country is in a difficult period as the global financial crisis has continued affecting the country's real economy. The government has begun measures to sustain the economy, such as the four-trillion-yuan stimulus package and interests cuts.
"We are considering taking more measures at proper time. But currently we are most concerned about two issues, migrant workers returning home and employment for graduates," Wen said.
The financial crisis and China's slowing economic growth has forced 4 million migrant workers to return to their rural homes, according to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The report also said as of the end of this year, 1.5 million graduates are likely to have failed to find jobs, and the country could see an ever tougher employment situation in 2009 as there will be about 6.1 million seeking jobs.
"We are also studying a package to guarantee jobs for graduates and it will kick in soon", Wen said. "The government will encourage major enterprises to increase recruits from graduates, seek more jobs in grassroots, offer opportunities of further study and skill training."
Scientific research projects conducted by companies, institutions and universities should recruit graduates, and companies must not lay off graduates even if times are hard, he added.
Wen reiterated "confidence", saying it is much more important than gold and currency.