Young Chinese to spread tech in villages
More than 10 million young Chinese volunteers are to be sent into villages across the country to promote scientific and technological development.
In a project that will last until at least 2022, the students will spend their summer holidays in designated rural zones deep inside the Chinese countryside.
Many of the targeted areas are very poor and local citizens have been left behind as the wealthier parts of the country advance quickly, with urbanisation seeing increasing numbers of young Chinese heading for metropolitan cities.
“We need young people to use science and technology to help the countryside innovate its traditional development models,” Zhang Linbin, deputy head of a township in central Hunan Province, told the Global Times.
Many of the young people being sent are members of the Communist Party. The scheme is a technological twist on Mao’s Cultural Revolution when the former leader closed universities and sent millions of intellectuals into the countryside.
Youth petition against prostitution
More than 40,000 young people have signed a petition in the Netherlands demanding that paying for sex be made illegal. The campaign is translated as “I am priceless” and the official website in Dutch can be found here.
The campaigners have been inspired by feminism and Christian values and want the Netherlands to follow the so-called ‘Nordic model’ where the buyer, not the seller, of sexual services is prosecuted.
Presently the Netherlands has one of the world’s most liberal prostitution laws with Amsterdam famed for its red-light district.
The young activists argue that many of the sex workers there are exploited by traffickers or pressured into prostitution because of economic concerns, rather than exercising true freedom.
But some sex workers have argued that the policy will simply make prostitution go back underground and ultimately endanger them as clients engage with criminal gangs to secure their services.
Student housing crisis
A new report suggests that there will be a serious shortage of student accommodation in Central and Eastern Europe in the next decade. Commissioned by Colliers International and the law firm CMS, the report says that Warsaw will be the worst city hit by the housing crisis.
The major problems highlighted are a lack of affordability with students unable to rent local apartments and there not being enough cheap dormitories available. Universities across the region have tightened their budgets and stopped spending on new accommodation.
By 2028 the report estimates that there will be a shortfall of 8,400 beds for students in Warsaw. In Budapest the figure will be roughly 3,700 and in Prague around 1,800. By contrast there will be more beds than students in Bucharest and Bratislava.
The report included a survey of students which found that Romania was the lowest ranked country in terms of student satisfaction with the cost, location and quality of housing.