Chinese students interested in innovation while universities aren’t doing enough: report

By Qu Qiuyan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/26 23:42:32

Students interested in innovation but universities aren’t

More than 60 percent of China's university students say they are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, but more than half of these students do not think universities offer enough support for these fields, according to a think tank report published on Tuesday.

A total of 97.9 percent of students think that entrepreneurship and innovation education need to be promoted by universities, while around 70 percent of the 2,797 students interviewed for the study do not think their universities offer adequate support for entrepreneurship-related activities.

The report, which was arranged by the Center for China & Globalization (CCG), a Beijing think tank, also said that a shortage of staffers and funding, inadequacy of practical courses, and a lack of specific approaches for start-ups are among the problems blocking development in this field.

"Most university lectures on entrepreneurial projects and innovation focus just on certain procedures for starting a company, which is actually something that can be obtained from the Internet," Li Junye, one of several university seniors in Beijing who took part in an entrepreneurship competition, told the Global Times.

"Besides, most of the lectures are from teachers who've never had any practical experience with a business. It would be better to invite experienced people to teach," Li added.

The report found that more than 60 percent of those interviewed think that the primary thing about entrepreneurship is the money, and that the main source of funding and support is from universities and the government.

However, according to the report, the funding and support from universities and government is quite limited, and, at the same time, it's difficult for students to borrow money from a bank because of the lack of credit and fixed assets.

In spite of not providing much funding, some universities do provide working space, which could cost a lot for a start-up if it is outside the campus, according to Li.

The report also mentioned that around 50 percent of those interviewed would prefer to start a business in a second-tier city instead of the bigger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Their reasons include higher living and work costs and greater competition in the big cities, Zhu Wei, a communications researcher at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In addition, second-tier cities have preferential policies to attract people for business, Zhu noted.

Zhu suggested that universities stop treating entrepreneurships and innovation in such a formal manner.

Meanwhile, the CCG think tank suggests that more preferential policies for student entrepreneurs and university classes on entrepreneurship and innovation be provided, the report noted, to allow for a full range of training and services.

Newspaper headline: Entrepreneurial class deficit

Posted in: SOCIETY

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