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Graduates Engineered to Fail

NewsChina, Chinese Edition July 14, 2023

By NewsChina Updated Sept.1

Despite their highest employment rate of 56.9 percent among all graduates this year, China’s schools of engineering face criticism for their detachment from real factory work. Undergraduate engineering programs usually involve three years of study followed by a year of internship, but still fall short in providing practical, hands-on experience, with simple tasks proving challenging. Severing ties with factories in 2000, almost all engineering education courses in China opted for a science-based approach with a focus on papers and simulations rather than first-hand experience. Universities are endeavoring to revamp the curriculum following the example of institutions like the specialized Olin College of Engineering in the US, which emphasizes integrating classroom-based and practical approaches, but the exam-centered education throughout China’s school system makes this hard to replicate. Tech-giant Huawei might be one answer to the conundrum, as it seeks to collaborate with universities to provide practical solutions.