Opinion / Opinion Line

Repatriation of jobless PhD holder reflects personal, social concerns

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-28 07:49

The story of Xiaolan, a 38-year-old woman who got her PhD from a US university but was repatriated recently after losing her job and becoming homeless, has been doing the rounds on the Internet, with many saying she has poor social skills despite having a doctorate's degree. Comments:

The original story said Xiaolan was carrying her schizophrenia back to China and her tragedy may have more to do with her medical condition rather than other factors. But many netizens omitted this key information when they reposted the story, stressing that, despite having a PhD, she has poor social skills. This contention that higher education means lower social abilities is absurd. If you want to make chicken soup for the soul, please do not make stuff up, especially when the stuff concerns someone's tragedy.

Beijing News, April 27

Xiaolan is said to have been an outstanding student right from childhood and performed excellently throughout her higher studies. But she failed to balance her academic work with social abilities, which led to the tragedy. People holding such diplomas have to also improve their social skills.

Xiao Yongmao, a counselor at Selection of College Entrance Examination Research Institute, April 27

It is too early to surmise that Xiaolan's case reflects the failure of education, because, as the report says, she performed very well in the field of research. Maybe she is more accustomed to a job in the university than in an enterprise. There are so many examples of people in their 40s becoming successful again by using their knowledge and skills, and there is no reason why Xiaolan will not be one., April 27

Many have blamed Xiaolan for her poor social skills, but few have noticed that her failure has much to do with current society. Today's commercialized society does not tolerate people with poor social abilities even if they are talented. Many distinguished scientists (such as Isaac Newton), suffered from a lack of social skills yet their achievements changed our lives.

Yushanlongjushi (user name), a researcher at National Climate Center, via Sina micro blog, April 26

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