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Session 4

In this session we read about the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: a building that's taken over 100 years to build, but it's not finished yet...

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Too many graduates, not enough jobs

In many countries around the world, more and more young people are graduating from universities – and then discovering that it isn't easy to find a job.

This week's News Report discusses the problem of graduate unemployment in India and China, and its social effects. This News Report includes some examples of the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. There is also quite a lot of useful new vocabulary for you to learn.

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Among new university graduates in India and China, unemployment - and underemployment - are rising fast. Some fear that large numbers of educated, underemployed young people could cause social problems in these countries.

In India, five million students graduate from university each year. However, one in three graduates up to the age of 29 is unemployed.

In China more than 7 million students will graduate from the country's universities in 2014, and the number is steadily increasing. Unemployment among new graduates is somewhere between 15% and 30%.

Chinese workers without degrees are more willing to take factory jobs. However, the payment for factory jobs today is often higher than the payment for low-level office jobs.

Joseph Cheng, a professor at City University of Hong Kong, says that China's leadership is extremely worried about graduate unemployment.

Craig Jeffrey, a professor at Oxford University, is an expert on India's unemployed youth. He describes a similar situation in India. Government reports, he says, often describe underemployed graduates as “hostile to the state”.

There are more than 160,000 underemployed graduates in Beijing alone. Around one third of them graduated from China's most prestigious universities.

But, surprisingly, researchers have found that these underemployed graduates in China and India are generally not angry – they are often calm and quite optimistic, because they still believe that they will find suitable jobs.

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You can download News Report on our Unit 14 Downloads page.

Vocabulary

graduate (noun)
a person who has a degree from a university

unemployment
the situation of not having a job

underemployment
the situation of not having enough work, or not having work which uses your skills

social
related to society

graduate (verb)
to finish a university degree course successfully

steadily
at a continuous rate, without stopping

willing
ready and enthusiastic to do something

leadership
(here) the group of people who are the leaders of an organisation

expert
a person with special knowledge on a particular subject

hostile
unfriendly, and ready to fight

state
a country, and especially the government

prestigious
admired and respected

calm
peaceful; not worried or excited

optimistic
believing that good things will happen in the future

Related story

This report is based on an original BBC News story.

Session Vocabulary

  • graduate (noun)
    a person who has a degree from a university

    unemployment
    the situation of not having a job

    underemployment
    the situation of not having enough work, or not having work which uses your skills

    social
    related to society

    graduate (verb)
    to finish a university degree course successfully

    steadily
    at a continuous rate, without stopping

    willing
    ready and enthusiastic to do something

    leadership
    (here) the group of people who are the leaders of an organisation

    expert
    a person with special knowledge on a particular subject

    hostile
    unfriendly, and ready to fight

    state
    a country, and especially the government

    prestigious
    admired and respected

    calm
    peaceful; not worried or excited

    optimistic
    believing that good things will happen in the future