Even Peking University, one of the most eminent on the mainland, is not immune from the global financial turmoil. University finances and student employment prospects are two areas of greatest concern, state media has quoted the institution's new president as saying. Speaking at a weekend seminar on the impact of the crisis on the domestic economy and ways to boost consumption, university president Zhou Qifeng said the credit crunch had weakened the institution and Chinese education in general. 'Peking University really needs money,' The Beijing News quoted Dr Zhao as saying. 'Though the situation varies across departments, generally speaking professors at Beida [the university] are poorly paid and working under bad conditions. We cannot attract good talent.' The fallout from the crisis became such an issue that the Ministry of Education recently convened a meeting to discuss how to handle the effects on the mainland's education sector. Dr Zhou identified three major areas of concern. 'First of all, the shrinking government tax revenue will reduce education funding for universities,' he was quoted as saying. 'Secondly, the gloomy economic outlook for western countries will cause their universities to cut expenditure on education exchanges, so Chinese schools will probably have fewer academic exchanges granted by western schools and foundations. 'Furthermore, there will be fewer positions available in the employment market, which will increase the psychological pressure on graduates seeking jobs.' Dr Zhou said students were already feeling extraordinary stress from news about the slowdown in national economic growth, higher unemployment and rising social instability. Last week a senior official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Yu Faming , said jobless university graduates were among the biggest victims of unemployment due to the financial crisis. Nearly 7 million new graduates would enter the job market next year but there would be far fewer vacancies, Mr Yu said. Dr Zhou - who was appointed president last month - said that to face the situation, Peking University would try to cut costs, bolster fund-raising efforts and find ways to help graduates land work. But raising funds and finding jobs depend on the financial health of businesses. 'Those businesses that promised to donate to Peking University said they would keep their word, but needed more time.'