chapter  3
20 Pages

Postgraduate Transitions in Transforming China

Exploring Lived Experiences of First Generation Female Students in Two Chinese Universities 1
ByYixi Lu

Since the late 1970s, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has undergone major transformations. The economic reforms have brought spectacular economic growth and dramatic change in social stratification and social structure, including increasing economic disparity and social inequality. The dramatic social and economic transformation during the past 35 years has resulted in a profound restructuring in China’s higher education system and job market, which has brought tremendous impacts on university students’ transition process from school to work. There has been a growing public concern about the increasingly challenging job market for university graduates (Bai, 2006; Education Online, 2006, 2016a; Wang, 2009). Although the authoritative statistics on the employment rate of university graduates are not adequately available in China 2 , several related issues, such as an unsatisfying wage for their first employment, increasing difficulty in finding jobs or satisfactory jobs and education-job mismatch, have been recognized as social problems in recent years (Economic Daily, 2009; Hui, 2010).