Stanford PhD's Rural Clerk Application Stir Debate in China


The application of a Stanford University PhD graduate for a rural civil service position in Anhui Province has ignited a heated debate on Chinese social media. The official website of Suzhou City in East China's Anhui Province recently disclosed a list of potential recruits for the 2024 civil service, including a candidate named Su, who stands out with a doctoral degree.

The list of Lingbi County's second group of civil servants to be potentially recruited for 2024. Photo: the official website of Suzhou City in Anhui Province

Out of 434 potential recruits, Su is the sole individual with a PhD, applying for a grassroots management role in Lingbi County under Suzhou city's jurisdiction. This role involves comprehensive management tasks at the grassroots level, including public services, social etiquette, civility, and rural revitalization efforts.

Local government staff in Lingbi County noted that this is the first time a candidate from a prestigious university has applied for such an entry-level civil service position. Media sources suggest that Su's application may be influenced by a strong connection to the area.

Identified as Su Zhen, the candidate is a graduate of Anhui Xiaoxian Experimental Senior High School and later attended the University of Science and Technology of China, where they received the 35th Guo Moruo Scholarship. Su then pursued their PhD at Stanford University.