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Native Shanghainese and Beijingnese are driven out

22 August 2006

There is a popular saying circulated in Shanghai: People living in the inner core area (the CBD) speak English (staff working for multinational companies), people living in the mid-ring (suburban) speak Mandarin (high-skilled migrants and peasant labours from other parts of China), and people living in the outer circle (outskirts) speak Shanghainese (those who were born and grew up in Shanghai).

Same phenomenon now is observed in Beijing

Which means if you want to hear authentic Shanghai dialect or most pure Mandarin you’ll have to go out of Shanghai or Beijing.

How does it happen? The answer is short: the high price of the property has driven and is continuously driving the locals out of their homes in the city.

What a tragedy!

Regret to Go to the University

More than half graduates say they’ve learned nothing at the university, and one third speak of their regret for taking up the tertiary education in the first place, a large-scale study revealed last Monday. The study is co-conducted by the China Youth Daily and Tengxun News Net, which surveyed 8777 new graduates.

Going to university was seen as the only shortcut to secure a well-paid job in the Chinese society, and the competition to obtain a seat in the college was fierce. But now things are quietly changing. Last year, between 5 to 10 percent of new students didn’t bother to enrol.

In recent years, most universities are largely left to look after themselves financially in the environment of the free market economy, and forced to lower their entrance standards and increase the tutoring fees, with many teachers taking part-time jobs as consultants in private companies instead of focusing on teaching. The results are the poor quality of education and the heavy burden of debt placed on a lot of the students. Worse still, the debts are unlikely to be paid off quickly since the graduates face an increasingly tough job market, and many have to take some unskilled jobs to support themselves.

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