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China Insights: Opinion Articles

Student Accommodation in China

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, there are 2,738 general higher education institutions in mainland China, with a total enrolment of over 30 million students, which does not include postgraduate level students. With such a large student population, it is very rare to see any third-party operated student accommodation in China. This article looks at the current on-campus living conditions and the lifestyle that has developed for university students in mainland China, as well as what they say about collective accommodation.

Four-Person Dormitory Is The Most Common Room Type, In Single-Gender Dormitory Buildings

The most common type of dormitory in Chinese universities that have been renovated in the last decade is the four-room dormitory. In addition to the four sets of loft bed with desks, these dormitories are usually accompanied by a separate bathroom. The entire dormitory building will usually only allow a single gender, but roommates are usually allocated by the university, and students of the same major from the same intake will usually move into adjacent rooms at random.

The 4-bed dormitory at Tsinghua University, rated by netizens as one of the 10 best dormitory environments in China

Government funded schools in China are expected not to make a profit on accommodation so as to cater for students from families of all income levels and as a result, the cost of accommodation in these dormitories is extremely low, usually no more than 1500 per person per year. Flatmates in the same dormitory are also required to share some of the bills, which mainly include their water and electricity spends. Some schools also charge for wireless internet, but this is usually an individual bill and students can choose to connect to the internet at different prices depending on their needs.

It may also happen that for some universities, due to space and funding issues, 6-8 people may be accommodated in the same dormitory room. In this case the student accommodation is relatively more cramped. Bunk beds are more common in such rooms.

Security And Accommodation Rules Are Strictly Taken Into Consideration

Apparently, students and parents alike think that living in a school-provided residence equates to security. These school dorms ensure the safety of students by employing security guards and dormitory supervisors to ensure the necessary supervision of student behaviour.

They usually strictly restrict visitors, especially those of the opposite sex, from entering the residential buildings. However, access for student residents is also restricted after the set curfew hours and many students complain that they are homeless when they return to their dorms too late. In addition, some universities may choose to cut the electricity or internet connection after curfew so that students can rest on time.

In addition to being required to go to bed on time, restrictions may be placed on the use of powerful electrical appliances in residence that pose a fire safety risk, which may include small cooking appliances or high-powered hair dryers.

Dormitory Life Has Created Lifestyles And Even Businesses

Interestingly, students are also very good at transforming their dormitories by buying ‘dorm room goodies’ to improve their satisfaction. For example, student bed curtains, bed desks and hanging chairs are all very popular among students. People are also keen to show off their lifestyles by showing off their dormitory decorations and modifications.

Photos shared by Zhihu users in the topic "How to decorate your dorm"

In addition, the constraints of the accommodation environment have created many commercial ideas specific to this scenario. For example, some students in the girls’ dorms will set up their own nail studios to offer affordable manicures to their friends who live next door. And some students will buy large quantities of daily necessities during the discount season and distribute them to other residents for a small profit by selling them below retail prices.And eleme, which has now become a giant in China’s online delivery market, also started as a small entrepreneurial attempt by its founders to solve the problem of ordering takeaways for themselves and their mates in university dormitories.

Manicure business in a girls' dormitory, photo credit: Xiaoxiang Morning Post
Eleme Founder Zhang Xuhao

Some Find Dorm Life Cosy, But Others Cannot Adapt

For the generation affected by the one-child policy, many students have never tried to live away from their parents and with peers for any length of time before entering university. This type of collective living is full of unknowns for them. Some students adapt quickly to this life and enjoy the warmth of university life with their newfound friends. However, for some students, this life is difficult to get used to through a short period of bonding and they may not be able to take care of themselves away from home or may have conflicts with their flatmates due to differences in their lifestyles.

These cases, both positive and negative, have been discussed on social networks, and there have even been occasional conflicts between roommates that have escalated into criminal cases. In response, over the past decade or so, more and more universities have been enhancing their psychological care for students during the settling-in period, trying to intervene at an early stage of the conflict, helping students who cannot fit in to a new environment or allowing them to choose off-campus accommodation alone.

Off-Campus Rental Market

In China’s first and second tier cities, private properties around universities are also popular among students. These 1-2 bedroom flats are often favoured by student couples or graduating students. Free from the control of the school, they are available at a cost of 1000-2500 RMB/person/month in exchange for more living space and a more flexible and free living style. Universities are often willing to grant requests to live away from campus after signing a safety waiver with parents.

In some cities, there are also companies that offer shared accommodation, renting 3-5 bedroom flats and subletting each room to tenants of a similar age, usually for a period of 3 months to a year. This type of rental has also become the preferred rental option for many university students who stay in the city where their school is located after graduation, or for young people moving to a new city to work.

Even though Chinese internet platforms will often feature students’ woes or complaints about dormitory life, people will envy the accommodation of overseas students by comparing the environment in Chinese and foreign dormitories. But this experience of living together with students from whatever background is still identified as a fond memory shared by Chinese university graduates. They miss the life they had at university and benefit from the skills and experience they have learned while living on campus, and most importantly, the friendships they have formed with their flatmates have become a treasure that many young Chinese people will cherish for the rest of their lives.

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Y Suites China Insights – Nov 2021 Issue 01

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Y Suites China Insights – Issue 02 September 2021 Prepared by Business Development Team, Greater China WEE HUR HOSPITALITY

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China Insights: Opinion Articles

How China is controlling the spread of the epidemic

How China is controlling the spread of the epidemic

On 31 October, all guests at Shanghai Disneyland in China were informed to undergo a nucleic acid test before leaving the park. This was because Shanghai Disney discovered that a guest who had just been diagnosed with COVID-19 had visited the park the day before.

On the morning of November 1, the CDC announced that all 33,863 visitors had negative nucleic acid results. Many Chinese Internet users appreciated the speed of this response.

Disney character says "We're going to get tested", from meme made by Weibo user

Since the outbreak in early 2020, China has gradually developed a sophisticated system for controlling and tracking covidemic outbreaks. Whenever a new case is discovered, Chinese CDC authorities will cut the chain of transmission of the outbreak as much as possible by regulating regional risk levels, tracking close contacts with big data, and widespread universal nucleic acid testing. As a result, we can see that China has seen very few scary infection figures in the recent past. How does this system manage to work quickly and what is the intuitive impact on people’s lives?

Regional Risk Levels

In China, different areas are labelled into three levels based on the number of confirmed patients within 14 days: high risk, medium risk, and low risk areas. This classification can be adjusted for a particular province, city, district, township, or community. The list of tagged areas will be used as the main reference for airports, hotels, communities, etc. to decide whether or not to accept transient people. Areas that have been adjusted to medium or high risk will be reverted to low risk after all local cases have been cleared and no new cases have been identified and assessed by disease control experts.

Health Codes

The Health QR Code system was introduced in various regions of China from 2020 onwards, and it contains personal, health and travel information. One of the most critical elements of the system is travel information, which, in addition to obtaining booking information such as airline and train tickets, also tracks the areas a person has visited in the past 14 days by the cities they have visited through their mobile phone signal. In some public areas, travellers are also asked to scan place codes on the spot to get a more accurate picture of exactly when each person travelled and where they arrived.

By updating this information, the health codes are divided into three colours to indicate different levels of health risk.

 

  • Green indicates a low level of risk. Access to public places such as shopping malls and underground stations is usually possible by simply showing the QR code and taking your temperature.

  • Yellow indicates a possible recent visit to a medium to high risk area and will be advised to isolate at home and refused access to public places or public transport.

  • Red indicates possible exposure to a confirmed case and requires immediate nucleic acid testing and a travel ban.

Having a green health code is an essential prerequisite for normal travel or business trips. Consequently, there is now an interesting way of greeting Chinese friends beyond asking if they are having a meal: “Is your health code still green?”

Massive Testing for Coronavirus

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, in areas where confirmed cases are found, CDC departments usually arrange mass general screening, working to get everyone in the region who may be at risk of exposure to complete a COVID-19 test in the shortest possible time.

In a guide for the Organisation and Implementation of COVID-19 Testing for the Whole Population (Version 2) published by the National Health Commission in September, for cases where there is a need for full population testing, cities with a population of 5 million or less are required to complete testing for the whole population within 2 days, while larger cities receive a deadline of 3 days in this matter.

This means that every city in China needs to be ready with the necessary equipment and personnel to do the testing on every resident and produce the results in a rapid manner. When the risk level rises, they will carry out the tests immediately according to a pre-planned procedure to try to identify cases from blind spots and carry out subsequent epidemiological investigations as quickly as possible.

Challenges Related to Epidemic Control

When the green QR code becomes a ticket to freely get around, most people understand and are willing to cooperate with the rules that arise to help control the further spread of disease at this time, where possible. However, this inevitably raises a couple of problems. Firstly, screening against the chain of transmission of the virus somewhat exposes privacy. The itineraries of those diagnosed are made public on various platforms, while every trip made by citizens is monitored by health surveillance information in order to track it. Many people will be worried that the current exposure of their identity and itinerary will create some long-term risks. Furthermore, some vulnerable groups were overlooked by society during the epidemic. Travel for the elderly and disabled is particularly difficult at this time, and even though society is helping as much as possible through volunteers and other means, there are still many places where elderly people are turned away because they are not proficient in using smartphones. It is also difficult to understand the sudden changes in the community’s vaccination policy for those who do not have access to real-time news and policy updates through multiple social media platforms. However, these issues are increasingly being recognised and effective solutions are still being explored.

Deviations In Implementation And Over-Reaction

China has a large population and a large number of administrative levels, so even though there is a unified approach as described above, there are variations and discrepancies in the implementation of epidemic prevention actions in different regions. Some provinces and cities have been known to overreact to the presence of one case affecting the daily travel of millions of people, while others have complained about lax management in their own communities where the health codes for visitors are not strictly scrutinised.

Interestingly, the Y Suites China team experienced the precision and speed of such investigations during a business trip last month. On the day they travelled from Changsha, China to another city, they received news of a confirmed case in Changsha who had travelled to the city from Shaanxi Province. They then experienced how the prevention and control department of the destination city was able to sort out the Changsha travellers as quickly as possible to enhance the review of their historical travels. The team received calls that night from the epidemiological investigation departments of several cities to double-check that they had not crossed paths with the diagnosed person during their trip. Even so, some of the co-operating partners travelling with them received varying degrees of travel restrictions when they returned home. And their health codes, fortunately, have remained a healthy green so far. But because of the increased alert levels in several cities, they will be travelling more cautiously in order to protect their green QR codes for themselves and their families.

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Y Suites China Insights – Oct 2021 Issue 02

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Y Suites China Insights – Issue 02 October 2021 Prepared by Business Development Team, Greater China WEE HUR HOSPITALITY

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China Insights: Opinion Articles

Power cuts during peak power periods: Why China is facing an electricity crisis?

Since early September, at least 19 of China’s provinces, including many of its industrial heartlands, have suffered power shortages, with some unplanned and indiscriminate cuts. In many parts of the country, the high price of coal is to blame. Ten provinces are also trying to meet strict environmental limits on energy consumption. Energy-intensive industries such as steel-making, aluminium smelting, cement manufacturing and fertiliser production are among the businesses hardest hit by the outages.

As a domestic energy giant, what are the main causes of the current energy shortage in China? What has been the impact so far? How does the public perceive the recent restrictions on electricity consumption?

Reason 1: Rising Coal Price V.S. Stable Electricity Price

China’s energy mix is in fact relatively homogeneous due to the distribution of resources, with coal still dominating, followed by hydropower. Coal accounts for 63.2% of China’s electricity generation in 2020. 

Available energy supplies have been significantly reduced as power producers are reluctant to operate their plants at a loss. The price of coal has risen steadily over the year, with the cost price increasing by 57% in the last two months, which has seen power plants in many provinces reach a state where they can’t afford to make ends meet.

But even in the face of losses caused by rising costs, the price of electricity has remained constant. Due to the Chinese institution, the supply chain of electricity does not have the right to determine the price of electricity. This initiative was originally intended to protect the various end-users from the high cost of electricity, but it has also contributed to the current energy shortage crisis. More and more power plants are choosing to reduce their capacity or simply suspend generation in order to reduce their losses.

Reason 2: Energy Dual-Controls

The electricity crisis in some provinces is also linked to additional measures related to the “energy dual-controls”(能耗双控). In this context, the dual controls refer to the control of energy consumption and intensity, where consumption is the total amount of electricity consumed and intensity is the ratio between the energy consumed and the production output. Last month, there was a provincial “score table” circulating on the Chinese internet in which some provinces were marked as not meeting their dual-controls requirements. As a result, these provinces are focusing on reaching their energy control targets by limiting the amount of electricity used for production.

Chinese media initially attributed the main cause of the electricity crisis to the double control of energy consumption, with expensive coal prices being only a secondary issue. However, as more in-depth reports emerged, it became more clear that the high price of coal was the root cause. Although some provinces specifically target high consumption, high-intensity sectors in their power rationing, logically these are also targeted in the context of power shortages due to reduced targeted generation, so it is difficult to differentiate clearly in most cases.

Reason 3: Supply underperforming

This reason appears in certain provinces that are relatively dependent on other sources of electricity. Due to weather conditions, hydroelectric and wind power production in some parts of China has been lower than in previous years. The reduction in power reserves in Yunnan and Eastern provinces, which are also tasked with delivering power to other neighbouring regions, has made the shortage particularly pronounced in those areas previously considered to be major power generators.

Implementing Measures

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has outlined a series of measures to address the problem, with energy supply in the country’s northeast a key priority this winter. These measures include working closely with power generation companies to increase production, ensure adequate supplies of coal and promote electricity rationing. The China Electricity Council, which represents power generation companies, also said that coal-fired power generation companies are currently “expanding their procurement channels at all costs” to secure heat and power supplies for the winter. 

The allowed coal-fired-power price has been temporarily raised already for power markets in Guangdong, Anhui, and Hunan, with more likely to come. This should allow some generators to start producing again. Over the medium term, though, coal production must ramp up to help prices come down.

However, increasing the production and reserves of energy coal will be an issue that continues to plague China for a while, while finding new sources of coal imports may not be a straightforward task. Many people are beginning to speculate that this is linked to China stopping Australian coal imports, even though China has never traded with Australia on energy coal for power generation.

Influences and Opinions

For most provinces, the power rationing has affected only large industrial and commercial users and has been announced to consumers in advance, in what is called “ordered power consumption” ( 有序用电 ). In the three provinces comprising Northeast China, however, the power shortage has been especially severe, requiring the Northeast Grid to take emergency load shedding measures last week, cutting off power without warning (拉闸限电). These power cuts in the Northeast affected not just industrial and commercial customers, but even residential users and municipal traffic lights.

The shortage of power across China can be generally attributed to one of three different causes, which vary across the country and are more or less relevant in specific regions. In response, people whose lives have been affected have, of course, voiced their complaints and taken to social media to share their experiences of how their lives have been affected. The word “blackout” made it into the top ten of Weibo’s hot searches last week, and since the topic hit, there had been no more blackouts without warning in their regions.

In terms of economic impacts, analysts believe that this wave of power and production restrictions “dilemma” highlights the “difficulty of balancing multiple objectives and multiple constraints”, which will not only continue to strengthen upstream supply constraints, the PPI (ex-industrial producer price index) will hover at a high level for a longer period of time, but will also suppress production and drag down China’s economic growth in the second half of the year. As the world’s secondlargest economy and largest manufacturing country, the slowdown in production from supply-side constraints could also affect global markets and push up global inflation levels. “Given that market attention is currently highly focused on Evergrande and China’s unprecedentedly heavy-handed curbs on the property sector, another major supply-side shock may be underestimated and perhaps even overlooked,” said Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura Securities. The power crunch has already prompted Nomura to cut its forecast for China’s year-on-year economic growth in the third and fourth quarters to 4.7 per cent and 3 per cent, compared with previous estimates of 5.1 per cent and 4.4 per cent, and to cut its fullyear growth forecast for this year to 7.7 per cent from 8.2 per cent. However, Nomura believes its estimates are still at risk of more downward revisions. The large domestic investment bank, CICC, expects the impact of the dual control policy on economic growth in the third and fourth quarters to be around 0.1-0.15 percentage points; PPI growth may be above 9% year-on-year during the year, with the squeeze on mid- and downstream profit margins intensifying from upstream price increases. Nomura fears that this shockwave of electricity and production restrictions may spread and affect the global market, the world will feel the tightening of supply of textiles, toys, machinery parts, hot topics about China will soon turn from “Evergrande” to “power shortage”.

There has been some speculation in Chinese society about the power restrictions since the problem occurred. One popular argument claims that this energy problem is a deliberate attempt by the government to reduce factory capacity through power cuts in order to regulate the price of Chinese manufacturing exports. This claim was noted by the official media, CCTV, who released a disinformation release. In the light of all the influences, we do not believe that this energy crisis is due to government ‘control’. Winter is approaching in most of China’s provinces, and the north-eastern region, which has been affected in this case, could face cold weather of -10 °C in two months’ time. Cutting off energy at this time in order to gain an advantage in financial warfare would clearly upset the population. Thus, energy shortages do exist and the Chinese government is indeed working to solve the energy rationing problem as soon as possible.

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Y Suites China Insights – Oct 2021 Issue 01

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Y Suites China Insights – Issue 01 October 2021 Prepared by Business Development Team, Greater China WEE HUR HOSPITALITY

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China Insights: Opinion Articles

China’s Recent Policy on Revoking Gaokao and Public’s View Towards It

At the end of September, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China published a reform plan for university entrance examinations for arts and sports programmes. According to the plan, the reform will be implemented in 2021 and will take three years to complete. For sports and arts students entering in 2024, their academic examination results will be given a higher weighting in the admissions process. The aim of this reform is to address the issue of fairness in university admissions in China, however, the public have different views on the issue.

How Does Chinese Gaokao Works

In China, the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE, or “Gaokao”) is the only way for most Chinese students to get into a university. However, the examination systems works relatively more complex for candidates applying for art- or sports- related programs. For those special talent candidates, they are required to pass a subject-related test administered by the respective province, or a special test administered by the target university, in addition to the general subject examinations. 

Usually, the academic course requirements for admission to art majors in China were not high, and the minimum cultural score admission line was usually 65% or 70% of the general undergraduate entrance requirement. Moreover, for admission to some art majors, only the results of the specialized examinations were looked at after the cultural results had met the requirements, or the cultural results were only given a 30% weighting. Sports students who have achieved outstanding results in sports competitions will have the opportunity to gain admission to university without taking the entrance exam. 

In 2020, more than 10 million students took the Gaokao and 1.6 million applied for arts or sports courses, even though only 300 universities are recruiting such students nationwide.

Reasons For The Reform

“If you can’t do well in academics, then switch to the arts”

As a result of the lower academic performance requirements, in order to avoid the fiercer competition of Gaokao, many students and parents have the utilitarian notion of “if you can’t do well in academics, then switch to the arts”, and these students will participate in intensive training for the art examinations in their first or second year of high school, and then spend very little time on academic subjects in the interim after passing their professional examinations.

Therefore, one of the motivations for this reform is to encourage candidates who choose to major in the arts for interest and to deter those who take shortcuts.

Over 40% of art college girls have suffered from ‘the unspoken rules’  

The candidate’s performance in the specialist examinations was once a decisive factor in the admission of most art students to university. As a result, there are many perceived subterfuges in the professional training and examination process, including monetary bribes, sexual bribes, or connections (“Guanxi”).

A renowned doctoral supervisor at a Chinese music academy, nearly 70 years old, confessed to having a physical relationship with a female student and received a bribe of 100,000 yuan to help the student get into the doctoral program. After the case was disclosed by the media, the topic of shady practices in art schools once again became a hot topic of discussion in the industry. A website has conducted a random survey of 100 female university students at art schools, and more than 40 per cent of female students have encountered “the unspoken rules”, which is a terrible figure and has always been prevalent.

Art entrance examinations have also created opportunities for fraud. In some extracurricular arts training institutions, many candidates pay high tuition fees to attend certain special courses, yet the training institutions hire high school teachers or amateurs to conduct so-called “professional training” at a very low cost, thus earning high profits.

The vast majority of students are unable to take up relevant jobs after graduation

According to the Ministry of Education statistics, in 2020, the national undergraduate enrollment of 4.43 million people in general colleges and universities, including nearly 450,000 undergraduate enrollment in the arts, accounting for more than 10%, ranking 3rd in the twelve major disciplines after engineering and management. The demand for art talents in first- and second-tier cities are only accounts for less than 2% of the entire system, which means that the enrollment scale of these students far exceeds the demand of the industry. In other words, hundreds of thousands of art students find it almost impossible to find a job that matches their university major after graduation.

 

The Public’s Thoughts

The topic “#Ministry of Education calls for a gradual increase in the cultural admissions line for the art exam” has already generated 20,000 discussions on Weibo, among which there are different opinions from the concerned students, parents and the public.

Many people expressed their support for this reform on social media. They believe that the current lack of literacy among influential figures in China’s arts and sports industry has a negative impact on society. Therefore, if the literacy requirements are raised at the university admissions stage, it will help to discipline the overall quality of the future entertainment and sports industry.

There are also those who are questioning the need for this initiative. Being proficient in maths, history, chemistry etc. is not essential for young people who will be pursuing careers in the arts and sports. The higher academic performance requirements may lead to some young people who are extremely talented in the arts or sports missing out on better opportunities.

For these special talents, they, quite unsurprisingly, are feeling increased pressure. They are complaining that they can no longer take time off from school to prepare for their major exams as their predecessors did. More time now needs to be diverted to academic studies that they did not attach much importance to. This has certainly caused some students to begin to waver in their major choices and feel that this is a very unfair decision.

A user who chose the art subject exam based on interest and graduated from one of China’s top art colleges believes that many people still hold prejudice against art exams. While there are students who consider art as a shortcut to higher education, there are also many students who are determined to make art their goal and put a lot of effort into it. At the same time, studying the arts usually requires higher expenses, and many families pay over 100,000 or even hundreds of thousands of RMB to support their children in fulfilling their dreams. Nothing comes easy and some reviews are best given with a clear understanding of the situation.

In conclusion, we believe that this reform of the admissions policy for special talents will help the vast majority of candidates to have a better examination environment and promote equity in progression for students of all disciplines. It does, however, mean that some students will have to review their future plans and invest more time and money in preparing for professional and academic examinations. For students who want to take shortcuts to better admissions results, arts majors may no longer be the optimal option for them. Relocating to a less competitive province or city for entrance exams, or sending students abroad may be options for these families to help ease the burden on their students if they have sufficient funds.

 

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China Insights: Opinion Articles

Will The Double Reduction Policy Become A Milestone In Solving China’s Population Crisis?

The so-called ‘double reduction’ policy has swept the country in the past two months since the policy was released on 24 July, calling for a reduction in homework burdens for lower primary school students, banning education companies from listing on the stock market and banning academic tutoring during holidays at the compulsory education level (grades 1 to 9), and several other measures.

The policy has hit private education companies hard, and large Chinese education companies, such as New Oriental, TAL Education Group and VIPKID, have shifted to providing arts and vocational education. Many of the estimated 10 million employees in the education and training sector are facing redundancy – practitioners estimate that the number of employees affected may have reached 100,000.

Why is China taking an unprecedented step to fix the education and training system?” How does the ‘double reduction’ policy affect students, parents, teachers, tutors who devoted years to after-school tutoring? Will it make any tangible difference to academic stress in China?

 

INVOLUTION IS ENDANGERING THE FERTILITY RATE

The rapid development of China over the last few decades is fostering intensified social competition. In terms of education, parents have had to set rigorous school schedules for their students from kindergarten onwards in order to compete for places in top universities. This anxiety is widely spread among parents, some of whom may worry that their kids are losing their competitive edge due to attending fewer extracurricular classes than their neighbours’ children. After-school training institutions have undoubtedly taken advantage of family education anxiety and have grown by leaps and bounds.

It is not only training courses that increase the cost of raising children. Properties near the best schools have been sold at an outrageous price, and some parents have had to wearily accept the extra pay held by the ‘996’ working hours. These reasons are causing young Chinese couples to lose more and more confidence in having children, even though the government has twice eased the birth limit to three children in 2021.

As a result, the country faces not only rising income inequality, but also a declining workforce in the coming decades. At the same time, the younger generation is already thinking of giving up, and there are growing calls for resistance to involution (nei juan) and calls for ‘lying down’(tang ping). They are no longer willing to participate in the ongoing rat race.

THE BENEFICIARIES OF HIGHER EDUCATION CANNOT AFFORD TO LET THEIR NEXT-GENERATION DROP OUT OF THE RACE

Since the policy was announced, there have been different opinions in Chinese society. Some believe that the ‘double reduction’ policy will put an end to excessive parental pressure on children, thus allowing them to learn and grow up in a relaxed and joyful manner.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that the ‘double reduction’ policy will only encourage parents to invest more time and money in raising their children to become elites, thereby countering the inequity of social and educational resources.

This conflict is particularly evident among the average families, especially the generation of parents who are the new middle class who have made the class leap through SSPA and worked their way up. For this segment of parents, they will never tolerate that their kids are lagging behind others in terms of schooling. Even if they understand that in today’s Chinese workplace, the phenomenon of involution has caused many highly educated graduates to suffer from the serious employment crisis as well. An interesting image from social media sums up the anxiety of this group of families in the face of the ‘double reduction’ policy.

DOUBLE REDUCTION FOR STUDENTS = DOUBLE INCREASE FOR SCHOOL TEACHERS?

Controls on after-school training could already contribute to an increase in teachers’ pressure. According to statements made by teachers on social media, they have experienced, in varying degrees, that their working hours and work pressure are inevitably increasing significantly since the implementation of the ‘double reduction’ policy. Parents are beginning to place higher expectations on in-school education, and some school teachers are required to be responsible for far more students than their capacity limits.

At the same time, a large number of institutional teachers are facing passive unemployment. Some of them are struggling to find a career change, even if it is very difficult. A large proportion of practitioners are also looking to enter school teaching, and with limited places available, their entry will create fierce competition for school teaching positions, and may consequently affect the average benefits package in the sector.

Even with the above controversies, all signs point to China’s unshakeable determination to reform the education sector. However, the demand for parental and family tuition is still there, and represents a huge market. Although school-based care services will fill this gap to some extent in the future, it will take a long time to adapt and develop to fully meet the needs of today’s parents and students. On the other hand, the government and other industries will need to provide some assistance in the career development and transition of those engaged in teaching and training, in order to address the adverse effects of policy on this large population.

It may take a relatively long period of time for Chinese society to accept the impact of the ‘double reduction’ and for the reform to have the desired positive effect. The current generation of students in the transition period will be impacted in some ways, and this will undoubtedly be a test for various sectors of Chinese society.

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Y Suites China Insights – Sept 2021 Issue 02

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Y Suites China Insights – Issue 02 September 2021
Prepared by Business Development Team, Greater China
WEE HUR HOSPITALITY

 

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Y Suites China Insights – Sept 2021 Issue 01

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Y Suites China Insights – Issue 01 September 2021 Prepared by Business Development Team, Greater China WEE HUR HOSPITALITY