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Mainland degrees soar
Staff Reporter
update on Friday, February 18, 2011

US women score top marks

Women in the United States are almost twice as likely as men to earn a bachelor's degree by the age of 23, underscoring decades of gains by females in schools and the workforce, according to a survey cited by Bloomberg. By that age, almost one in four women earned the college degree compared with one in seven men, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said. The research comes from a study that annually follows the lives of the same 9,000 people, born from 1980 to 1984.

Women's performance coincided with their increasing opportunities in the workforce as jobs shifted from male-dominated factories to offices open to women employees.

Mainland degrees soar

The mainland has awarded more than 21 million academic degrees, including 335,000 doctorates, since 1981 when a landmark regulation provided a legal frame for higher education, Xinhua reports.

They also included 2.73 million master's degrees and 18.3 million bachelor's degrees. As of the end of 2009, the mainland had 347 institutions authorised to issue doctorates, 697 for master's degrees and more than 700 for bachelor's degrees. More than 246,000 students are pursuing doctorate degrees.

Indonesian graduates' blues

Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar says that 30 per cent of university graduates are unemployed, Xinhua reports. Many are jobless because they are not well informed about vacancies or are not qualified for positions. Universities should produce qualified graduates and provide them with career planning, Iskandar said, calling on universities to work with industries so that there would be more jobs.

Spain offers tax breaks for jobs

The Spanish government has created tax breaks to encourage hiring young people and the long-term unemployed in a bid to lower the 43 per cent youth jobless rate, Bloomberg reports.

Companies will get a reduction of 75 per cent to 100 per cent in social-security taxes for offering part-time work to people up to 30 years old and the long-term jobless, Labour Minister Valeriano Gomez said. The incentives last a year in an attempt to spur employment in 2011.

A new subsidy will be created for unemployed workers in training. The programme will cost €400 million (HK$4.2 billion), with spending cuts from other ministries funding half. The subsidies will last six months and the budget won't be exceeded. Spain's unemployment rate is the highest in the European Union at 20 per cent, rising to 43 per cent among people younger than 25, after a decade-long construction boom lured Spaniards out of school and into building jobs.

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