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Nov 9, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

As more employers in China complain about the education standards among younger graduates of Chinese universities, university officials are tightening up the requirements for graduation.

According to official statistics, China's total enrollment for higher education reached nearly 43 percent in 2017, compared to just 20 percent a decade ago.

Now more universities in China are strengthening academic requirements so that unqualified students face delays in graduation or downgrades in their degree.

According to an article in The China Daily, students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province downgraded 18 students from bachelors' degrees to associates' degrees because they could not meet academic standards. 

Huazhong University of Science and Technology regulations stipulate that undergraduates who cannot meet requirements will receive a warning. After two warnings, they will be transferred to an associate level.

In many universities across China, students who do not earn enough credits before graduation are often given one more chance. Many universities give students in this situation the opportunity to take failed exams again -- and often these re-takes are easier than the initial exams. 

Wu Yan, director of the Ministry of Education's department of higher education, said, "We cannot have 'happy' universities where students just play computer games, have relationships or idle away the time."

He advocated for increased academic pressure on students to improve the quality of university education.

Learn more about studying in China

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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