Stanford PhD recruited in rural civil service position in China sparks heated discussion

2024-06-19 10:44:07Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A Stanford PhD is among the potential recruits list for rural civil service position in East China's Anhui Province, sparking widespread discussion on Chinese social media on Tuesday.

Later on Sunday, the official website of Suzhou City in Anhui Province publicly released the list of its second group of civil servants to be potentially recruited for 2024.

According to media reports, among 434 potential recruits featured on the list, a candidate surnamed Su is the only member with a doctoral degree, who applied for the position of grassroots-level management for the township authority in Lingbi County, which falls under the jurisdiction of Suzhou city.

The position that Su applied is responsible for the comprehensive management work at the grass-roots level, covering public service, social etiquette and civility as well as rural revitalization, according to media reports. 

On Tuesday, reporters from a domestic news outlet Jiupai News contacted staff at the local governmental affairs authorities of Lingbi County for further detail. Staff said that in the past, there had never been a candidate from a distinguished university applying for a grass-roots level civil service job in Lingbi County.

Reporters from Jiupai News also learned from a local staff that the reason Su applied for the civil servant with responsible for rural affairs may be in part due to a strong attachment to the area.

Some media reports identified the student as Su Zhen, a graduate of Anhui Xiaoxian Experimental Senior High School who later enrolled in University of Science and Technology of China. Su was also honored with the 35th Guo Moruo Scholarship while at the university. Later, the student went to Stanford University in the US. 

To date, the topic has garnered 150 million PVs on Chinese social media platform Weibo, where it topped the trending for more than six hours. 

Some netizens were supportive of a candidate with such a distinguished educational background applying for the job. Many suggested that a candidate with a doctoral degree could perform their duty better.

In addition to positive comments, some humorously commented that the top career choice is a civil service job which comes with good benefits and job security. Some opinions, however, argued that it was a manifestation of the devaluation of academic qualifications. Compared with test scores, real world experience is more indicative of someone's work ability, one netizen added.


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