The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has issued new guidelines on salary levels for foreign instructors at China’s many higher education institutions.
According to Shanghai Daily, the new guidelines places the maximum pre-tax salary for the most-experienced teachers in expensive cities such as Shanghai at 15,000 RMB (US$2,195). This is an almost three-fold increase over the administration’s previous guideline of 6,000 RMB set in 2000. However, the guidelines are not at all mandatory and were only formulated with established institutions of higher learning in mind.
While the salary guidelines may seem a tad low (at least compared with Western standards), the growth exhibited between the old and new salaries seems to be in accordance with changes in the market, as Shanghai Daily reports:
The pay rise percentage suggested is almost the same as Shanghai residents’ average income increase in the same period. This jumped from 1,295 yuan in 2000 to 3,292 yuan as of last year.
“Taking into account accommodation subsidies or free accommodation, most Shanghai universities surpass the minimum salary levels in each category,” said Dong Qi, a former director with Tongji University’s foreign affairs division.
The increase in salaries across the board does not really come as a surprise, though; in addition to the obvious growth China has experienced over the past decade, increased inflation rates as well as rising prices for essential goods have forced other sectors to up salaries as well. Xinhua reports:
The Beijing government announced Friday a plan to raise the minimum salary by 10 percent, as well as to increase subsidies paid to families living below the poverty line to combat the jump in utility costs.
The move aimed to offset price increases in rice, vegetable oil and pork, an unnamed Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau official was quoted by Beijing News.
Although China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, eased to 7.7 percent in May with the falling food prices, about 45 percent of people polled in a central bank survey conducted nationwide in June still thought prices were “unacceptably high.”