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China allows university students to follow Bill Gates

Updated: Dec 12,2014 8:00 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Students at Chinese universities may soon be receiving unconventional career advice from their counselors as the government encourages those with the entrepreneurial spirit to drop out if they see a golden business opportunity.

In the spirit of innovators like the young Bill Gates, who left university to pursue his budding career as a computer magnate, students are being allowed by education authorities to suspend studies to pursue new businesses.

Unlike Bill Gates, however, they are eligible for government assistance packages to assist in their ventures. Universities and colleges across the countries are also required to provide more capital assistance to students starting businesses.

Financial institutions, social organizations, industrial associations and enterprises should be attracted in the drive to help young entrepreneurs.

Students will also enjoy favorable policies in business training, industrial and commercial registration, financing and taxation, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Education.

Opening businesses online will also be encouraged and supported, according to the circular.

The government’s move is part of efforts to make employment easier as the country will have an estimated 7.49 million college graduates in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 3 percent, according to the ministry.

The ministry also said in the circular that students should have access to more education and training programs for business creation.

Experts believed it is necessary, as students are likely to encounter frustration or even failure due to lack of experience in business and society.

The ministry asked educators to develop special courses on starting businesses and open them to all students.

Students should also be encouraged to participate in competitions relating to innovation and business-creation so as to enhance their interests in entrepreneurship and better their abilities.

China will build a group of model bases for students’ business creation. Research centers and labs under the administration of the ministry should be open to students, according to the circular.

Premier Li Keqiang admitted that the current employment situation is tough in his government work report delivered to the country’s top legislature in March. The government has encouraged self-employment in an attempt to foster new areas of growth to keep people working.

The Central Economic Work Conference that concluded on Dec 11 said market should be given better play in promoting employment.

Employment should be enhanced by encouraging business creation. The government should also strengthen capabilities to provide service in promoting employment, according to the statement.