Project 211

Graduates refuse to move on

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am


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After graduation, most university students are busy with their work and seldom return to their alma mater. Yet some remain on or near campus and are reluctant to leave.

They are the so-called campus lingerers - students who have graduated but refuse to move on.

It is estimated that there are about 100,000 campus-lingerers on the mainland.

Some of them refuse to leave because they enjoy campus life; others are running businesses on campus.

Wu Runyang, who graduated from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), has rented a house near the campus, where he returns every day - not to study but to work.

He's marketing director of Suitup, a company selling formal clothing to students on campus.

'We are one of the projects that are affiliated to the Yunshan business incubator of GDUFS, and we can make use of many resources,' Wu says.

The programme provides him with discounted rent and other benefits. 'I pay 500 yuan [HK$610] a month for a 160-square-metre office and a 19-square-metre shop. A place like that could easily cost more than 3,000 yuan elsewhere,' he says.

Wu's is a success story of a campus lingerer. Many others, however, simply refuse to move on after school.

Wang Xi graduated from Sun Yat-sen University in June, but chooses to stay on campus. 'It is much safer to live here,' she says. 'The food in the canteen is cheaper and is more varied than outside. The exercise yards are free to use, and the library is a good place for additional studies.'

Ye Goqiang graduated from South China Agricultural University last year. Life on campus is much nicer, he says.

'Here I'm surrounded by hard-working people,' he says, 'so I am less inclined to be lazy.'