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China's college teachers struggling for higher income

Posted 2020/3/15

Teachers at Chinese colleges and universities are struggling to make ends meet, according to a survey conducted by China's higher education association.

The survey, cited by Thursday's China Youth Daily, said about half of Chinese college and university teachers earn less than 100,000 yuan (about 16,000 U.S. dollars) a year, and only 14.1 percent earn more than 150,000 yuan.

Many said they could barely make ends meet, with less than a third of those surveyed saying they could keep their bank accounts in the black, showed the research, which covered 130,000 people from 84 institutions across China.

Seventy-two percent of the teachers said they were "under pressure," while 36 percent said they were "under immense pressure," a separate survey conducted by the University of International Business and Economics showed.

"Compared with international counterparts, China's college teachers have little salary, and universities invest little in human capital," said Li Liguo, professor with the Renmin University of China.

There are 1.5 million teachers working at some 2,450 colleges and universities in China. About 70 percent of them are under 40 years old.

Poor salary and financial pressure have made them less devoted to their job, prompting many to take part-time work elsewhere, the China Youth Daily report said.

Li Shi, executive director of the China income distribution research center of Beijing Normal University, called for the establishment of a salary committee and a salary negotiation system to bridge the gap in colleges.

"A reward system for elite teachers and researchers should also be set up," he said.

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