Stand-in students for hire - at a pricepearl river delta

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am


'Any junior schoolmates who would like to attend my class on Thursday morning, please contact me. Pay is negotiable.'

This item posted on Weibo (a micro-blog) by Wu, a fourth-year undergraduate, stirred heated discussion among students.

Some younger students thought it ridiculous, and said: 'Hiring us to attend classes for them? Why not hire us to have meals for them?'

In response, Wu said: 'That is because they still haven't come across the problems we have. Maybe in one or two years, when they are in the same situation, they will do what we are doing.'

Final year students are often busy with internships, getting prepared for working life, but this usually comes at the cost of not attending lessons. In order to make up for lack of attendance, hiring junior students to help sign in for class has become a popular solution.

'I have to consider my future job. Before being offered a full position, I have to work full-time as an intern so I don't have time for class. But schools take attendance very seriously, and without enough attendance, I will not graduate,' says Wu.

Chen, also a final year student, has spotted some new faces in class recently and he suspects them to be hired bodies.

It is never a good thing to skip lessons but some people are supportive of the idea if students think they can do better through internships.

'The knowledge I learned in class is useless,' says Li Yu, who left university four years ago. 'When I was a student, some of my teachers focused on their own research projects rather than on education. What I gained from them just couldn't be applied in practical work.'

Li added that if he was a university student again, he would also hire others to sign in for him and take more internships to enrich himself.