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UPDATED: January 4, 2015 NO. 2 JANUARY 10, 2013
Can Chinese Students Replicate Bill Gates' Success?

A hard choice

Guo Yuanpeng (www.newssc.org): The Ministry of Education's new policy is intended to help relieve huge employment pressure, which is a big headache for the government and college graduates alike. However, to what extent this policy will work is hard to say. Some college graduates have started their own businesses and some even do very well. Most of these success stories are based on the students' strong family backgrounds. They either own wealthy families, or their families already have big companies. In other cases, some students may come from ordinary families, but their success is based on many accidental factors and thus their success is not easy to replicate.

To start one's own business is a challenge, even for those who have struggled for many years, let alone college students. There are cases in which some people, who have never gone to college, achieved great success in their own businesses, becoming millionaires. Still, we can't neglect the importance of knowledge. When a college student, who knows little about marketing and the economy, goes into real market competition, it's very dangerous to himself and to the whole business team behind him. Meanwhile, his normal studies in the college are interrupted. Once they fail, the shadow of that failure will be with them for quite a long time, blocking their future efforts to run their own businesses.

In my opinion, a student's priority should be to learn as much knowledge as possible and to prepare themselves for their future careers. They need to finish their school studies, be employed and accumulate certain experience before starting their own businesses.

Employment is a big issue facing the government, but it must be realized that many things need to be done to solve this problem and the new policy will play a limited role. The model of "deterring studies to start businesses" is not something that can be pushed forward extensively among college students.

Qu Jinyi (Changsha Evening News): In the past, if a college student wanted to start his or her own business, he or she had to quit school, and it was a very risky choice. With the new policy, students will face smaller losses in case they fail in their businesses, as they can return to the campus and resume their studies. In this sense, this policy means to encourage as many college students as possible to start their own businesses, without worries about the loss of college studies. Moreover, a student failing in his or her own business may study harder than before.

At home and abroad, there are a lot of stories of students' success in starting a business after quitting college. On the whole, however, the atmosphere of operating one's own business in China is quite different from that in many other countries. At the current stage, although many Chinese students are willing to start their own businesses, only a few really take action. Furthermore, the success rate is low. The Ministry of Education's statistics show that only 30 percent of college students' companies can survive five years after being launched.

Therefore, although students can come back to the campus to pick up their studies again, to start their own businesses is still risky. Nowadays, students can learn little from college on how to start a business. More importantly, most of them don't have the money to start a business, equally in short are business opportunities. At the present stage, most students still prefer stable jobs in government departments and big corporations.

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