Jiao Xin’an is a NPC deputy and president of Yangzhou University in Jiangsu Province. In his view, one of most important goals for 2020 was to ensure graduate employment. “The new generation of post-00s college students have higher expectations for their future career. To help them get off to a good start, higher education institutions should do more to improve career services,” he said.
This year, Jiao submitted a proposal to the NPC, in which he called for developing a national quality standard for university career services as soon as possible. He also proposed to take innovative approaches to career services and improve the competitiveness and employability of graduates, so as to boost employment rates and help graduates find better jobs. Furthermore, he proposed to build a safeguard mechanism for career services and an information sharing mechanism for students’ pre-employment health checks.
“Graduate employability and job quality are an important indicator on the quality of education in HEIs,” Jiao said. He pointed out that education authorities should formulate clearly-defined, multi-leveled and well-classified national quality standards for university career services, which involve efforts to identify top-level design, institutional building, safeguard mechanism and specific tasks.
In May 2018, Yangzhou University became the first university in China to be verified by the ISO9001 standard for its career services. It also developed a “Yangzhou University solution” for university career services. In 2020, Jiao spearheaded new initiatives to refine the university’s career services system. The university became a provincial-level demonstration site for career services and conducted a key research project commissioned by the Ministry of Education.
During the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, Yangzhou University launched an “Internet plus” career services program. A series of standardized and well-organized measures were taken to facilitate online recruitment, job interviews, contract signing and approval processes. In September 2020, the Ministry of Education replied to Jiao’s earlier proposal, and said it planned to explore new ways to set up a national standardized system for university career services.
According to Jiao, Yangzhou University is now building a specialized, smart and big-data-based platform that aims to provide a full range of career services for all students from day one of enrolment to graduation. “We hope to develop a sustainable and transferable model that can set an example for universities in Jiangsu Province or even in the whole country. We hope to make innovative breakthroughs.”