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Struggling China graduates stay put on campus

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, July 7 (Reuters) Thousands of new graduates in China's booming southern city of Guangzhou have refused to leave university dormitories due to a lack of affordable housing and satisfactory jobs, state media said today.

Students in Guangzhou have to contend with rental prices 10 to 15 per cent above the city average of 1,000 yuan (125 dollar) per month in areas popular with graduates, the China Daily said, so about 20,000 of them have simply stayed put.

''I didn't find a job until the end of last month. And now I am busy looking for a house, which the company will not provide,'' newly minted graduate Chen Qi told the paper.

''Besides that, high rental costs are really frightening.'' Instead, Chen is paying 10 yuan (1.25 dollar) a day to stay in his dormitory past the official move-out deadline.

China has about 750,000 more students graduating into the workforce this year compared to last, and fierce competition for jobs has left many struggling to get work.

School officials, who need students out so they can renovate dorms before school starts again in September, believe other reasons are behind their unwillingness to leave.

''They are reluctant to leave campus since they are used to living here,'' the China Daily quoted teacher Liu Huichan as saying.

''To them, campus life is so nice.'' REUTERS AD RAI1102

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