China currently offers 198 chemistry-related science degrees and 224 chemical engineering-related technology degrees but these are failing to attract students taking national college entry exams.
Many undergraduates end up on chemistry courses because they have simply failed to make the grades needed to get onto their first choice of degree course.
Ma Yuguo, an associate professor at Peking University’s College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. said, ‘In the wealthy Zhejiang Province where I chair enrolment at the college, most students choose business or applied technologies, and ignore chemistry.
‘Students and their parents have a misconception about chemistry degrees.
‘They think that chemistry experiments are risky or dirty, and that chemistry does not have good career prospects.’