A Shaanxi graduate said his university gave him a bogus work contract to inflate its post-study employment figures.
The former student said the contract was for a job at a local company which did not exist and carried the signature of his tutor.
Job seekers brave the scorching sun to look for openings at a job fair in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on Saturday. [China Daily/Yang Xinyue]
"I had no idea that I already had a job," the student, who had been hunting for work, wrote anonymously on a website.
In order to ensure a high employment rate and deliver a satisfactory work report during the global financial crisis, some Chinese universities have been faking work contracts or employment agreement for graduates, Southern Metropolis Daily reported Monday.
"Faking employment rates is not an isolated case and it has existed for years in China," an education expert, who wanted to remain anonymous, told China Daily.
Due to fierce competition among universities, especially secondary-tier ones, the performance and reputation of a school largely depends on its employment rate after graduation, he said.
According to unwritten rules at many universities, students cannot graduate if they do not find a job, the report said.
This means many unemployed students have to buy a fake job contract or employment agreement from small companies so that they can get their certificates.
"Thanks to my school for being so considerate," the student joked. "Otherwise, I would have had to get a fake contract by myself."
His jobless roommate also received a fake contract, but from another company, he said.
The Southern Metropolis Daily reported that both companies were not registered with the local administration of industry and commerce.
Since the expansion of the higher education system in 1999, college graduates and their schools have been facing growing employment pressure.
The number of colleges and universities has jumped from 206 in 1949 to 2,300 and the current college enrollment is six times that of 1998.
Amid the global economic slowdown, a record 6.1 million graduates are struggling to find a job in the grim employment market.
The Ministry of Education said that nearly two thirds of them had already secured jobs before graduation in early July.
But this figure differs widely with an employment report from an independent consulting firm on higher education.
A report from MyCOS HR Digital Information Co said 58 percent of prospective graduates had not signed job contracts by the end of June and that 2 percent had contracts cancelled.