Go to contents

“The Double Diploma Program Got Me a Job in China”

Posted November. 28, 2004 23:08,   


“I was both worried and hopeful when I came to China, but now that I got a job here, I’m full of confidence,” said Yu Jin-hui (23), who started working for Taesin Electronics, a Korean company in China, in August. She graduated from the Chinese Language and Literature department of Suzhou University in Suzhou city, an hour and a half from Shanghai.

Taesin Electronics is an automobile component manufacturer with 300 employees whose head office is located in Busan, South Korea. Her position is an administrative manager.

“Seeing how many companies around the world are starting businesses here, now I’m dreaming of working on the international stage,” she added.

Results of the Double Diploma Program—

Yu studied Chinese language and literature at Daegu University in Korea for two years, and transferred to Suzhou University in China to study for two more years. Then she received diplomas from each university.

Her employment in China was possible thanks to the double diploma program, under which domestic and foreign universities partner to give students who finish two-year courses in each university double diplomas.

Many Korean universities adopted this program in 2001 and 2002 in attempt to promote overseas employment of their students, and now the results are coming out. Korean companies in Suzhou started to hire Korean students with double diplomas. This is because they have a good command of the Chinese language and understand well Chinese culture and sentiment.

CEO Son Jun-rak of Seoul Metal Company in China, a precision bolt vendor of Samsung Electronics, hired seven employees from Daegu University, Yeungnam University, Ulsan University and Kyungnam University for the first time. They all obtained double diplomas from Chinese universities including Suzhou University.

Suzhou is one of the most active developing cities in China that attracted four billion dollars of foreign capital last year. The amount was the largest in China and now, companies from many nations are starting up offices in the city.

“Students with double diplomas have a good proficiency not only in the language but also in an understanding of China. Such ability is very useful in overall business such as purchasing law materials. This is why local businessmen have a great interest in students in the double diploma program,” explained Son.

Things to Consider—

However, the double diploma program does not guarantee employment.

“Since many foreign countries are moving into China, English as well as Chinese is also very important,” said Kim Do-kyung (27), who obtained diplomas from Daegu University and Suzhou University and has been working for Seoul Metal Company in China since June.

Insiders advise that the program is likely to end up as a failure without trust between the partner universities.

“Many Asian universities are looking forward to running a double diploma program with Chinese universities, but there are difficulties. Building mutual trust between partner universities so as to ensure the quality of students is most essential,” said Director Huang Hsing of the International Relations department of Suzhou University. The university ranked first in the assessment of Chinese provincial universities.

Under such circumstance, professors at Daegu University that had sent an additional 12 students to Suzhou University last year have been putting in efforts to support them, such as directly visiting their students there to know their problems and calling for special attention from the university for them.

Meanwhile, research conducted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development shows that of four-year Korean universities, 56 universities have double diploma programs with universities in China, the U.S. and Australia.

Kwon-Hyo Lee boriam@donga.com