Chinese students not interested in scientific careers
Only one-third of Chinese high school students plan to choose jobs in science after graduation from university, according to a report released on Tuesday by the China Youth and Children Research Center (CYCRC).
The report cited a joint survey carried out by researchers in China, the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea. They quizzed high school students to understand their attitudes toward science studies and their wishes for employment.
According to the report, young Chinese students are very interested in studying science. Some 76.2 percent of them regard science as "very interesting," exceeding their American peers by 11.2 percentage points, and Korean and Japanese ones by 15.5 percentage points and 12.4 percentage points respectively.
The Chinese students also seem to be the least utilitarian when learning scientific subjects as 81.8 percent of them believe these subjects are all alike, though they have very different weightings in exams.
But the Chinese students show little willingness to study science, engineering or medicine at university, with only 30.8 percent of them saying they would do so.
About 49.3 percent of the surveyed American students said they would choose scientific jobs after graduation, ranking the first in the four countries, compared with 32.3 percent for China.
Chinese students' study and professional orientation are mainly influenced by their personal interests, career aspirations and welfare expectation, revealed another survey conducted in 2012 by the CYCRC.
The survey noted Chinese youth place most stock in the suitability, income, stability and environment an occupation can offer, paying less attention to the job's social prestige or contribution to society.
"Science-related jobs are less attractive for Chinese youth compared with those more economically promising ones, such as managerial positions in enterprises," said Sun Hongyan, director of the CYCRC's childhood research institute.
Liu Jiaqi, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said many talented youths dodge a career in science simply because they cannot endure the hardship of research.
Liu appealed for the spreading of positive public opinions and social values regarding science so as attract more scientifically dedicated students. (xinhua)