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A Chinese Professor

23 September 2006

Recently an associated professor with China’s prestigious Beijing University published his personal financial details on the Internet. Here is his balance sheet:

Monthly income:

  • Monthly wage after tax: 1,918 yuans (roughly 240 usd)

  • Allowance: 1,368 yuans (roughly 170 usd) / month

  • Other teaching incomes and allowances: 1,500 yuan (roughly 190 usd) / month

Total monthly income: 4,786 yuans (600 usd, or 800 aud)

Monthly expenses:

  • Son’s high school fees (including tutorial fees, textbooks costs, non-local citizen levies, as well as transportation, lunch and school uniform expenses): 1,400 yuans (175 usd)

  • Daughter’s kindergarten fee: 680 yuans (85 usd)

  • Patrol: 1000 yuans (125 usd)

  • Highway levy: 30 yuans (4 usd)

  • Internet access fee (at the office): 20 yuans (2.5 usd)

  • Meal: 1,425 yuans (180 usd)

Total monthly expenses (without mortgage): 4555 yuans (570 usd, or 760 aud)

Monthly closing balance: 4,686 – 4,555 = 131 yuans (16 usd, or 22 aud), just enough to order a home delivered pizza plus 1.25 litre of coke.

The reason that he exposed his personal info is to respond to the increasing criticisms from the public of the university teachers spending more time on commercial activities than doing teachings.

"Can’t you folks see?" The professor argued bitterly, "I’m virtually doing volunteer work for the university. Without other sources of income, I can hardly survive."

But instead of quieting down the criticism, he’s stirring more excitement among his critics.

By any standards, some said, a monthly income of 4,700 yuans is above the average income level in China, and if this justifies his lack of devotion to his work, then teachers in high schools and primary schools shall have little reason to dedicate to their students. Others reminded him that some village teachers in poor regional areas only got 500 yuans ($60 usd) a month. Still more told him get lost, "Pray, find yourself a consulting job with a cooperate company, and vacant the position for others willing to teach."


The Nameless Lake
A scene in Beijing University

It is a university that is never tired of positioning itself at the centre of China’s political storm and social controversy.


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Child: Not much, 'cause the teacher wasn't there. I have to go back tomorrow!

Can't you folks see? That's how to keep 'em returning to your classroom.


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