Chinese University Asks Students to Sign ‘Suicide Waivers’

A university in southern China asked students entering its freshman class to sign a document absolving the school of responsibility should the student commit suicide — a macabre sign, say some, of the growing pressures of Chinese society

Suicide rates among college students have actually remained fairly stable among college students, hovering close to one or two per 100,000 people in recent years — a rate well below the national average. While there is no official figure for suicides on a national level, a research project conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2010 found the suicide rate in larger urban areas was 6.41 per 100,000 people and in rural areas, it was 10.01 per 100,000. However, with the threat of litigation rising as more Chinese pursue legal action to redress grievances and stress levels soaring among students, the college in Dongguan appears to have decided it needed some insurance.

Education has long been seen in China as the only path to success, a legacy of the country’s Confucian heritage. But a massive increase in the numbers of students taking university courses coupled with a sharp economic slowdown has meant that, for many, a degree is not the golden ticket it once seemed to be. Of the class of 2013, with some 7 million graduates across the country, just 35% had found a job at the time of graduation — a dramatic fall of 12% year on year.

With stress levels for students on the rise and postgraduation opportunities harder to find, some are starting to doubt the value of education as an investment.

- world.time.com


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