就业难,考研热,内卷的中国大学生丨纽约时报

独霸上海的妖怪 2021-02-24 10:43
考研这几天就要陆陆续续出分了,这样的时刻总是几家欢喜几家愁,而就考研成绩而言,更是一家欢喜,万家愁。

几年来,考研人数逐年增加。去年更是突破了377万,较上一年度的341万人增加了36万人,再次创下历史新高。

考研竞争的确是愈来愈激烈了。考研热的背后是诸多中国高等教育乃至中国经济长期存在的问题。《纽约时报》2021年1月19日的一篇文章就对此进行了分析报道。我们一起来看一看。

01


作者从疫情后的中国经济谈起,指出中国大学毕业生就业难。
China’s economy has largely rebounded from the coronavirus pandemic, with data released on Monday showing it has become perhaps the only major economy to have grown last year. 
中国经济已从新冠疫情中恢复大半,周一公布的数据显示,中国可能是去年唯一实现增长的主要经济体。


rebound [rɪˈbaʊnd] 为动词,本义是「弹回,反弹」(to bounce back after hitting sth),常用在经济领域,表示「回升,反弹」。

rebound from the coronavirus pandemic 这个词组可以记下来,表示「从新冠疫情中恢复」。

《纽约时报》一篇关于中国基建的文章也用到了这个词:

Big investments helped make China the first major economy to see its economy rebound after an outbreak, with output rising 3.2 percent from April through June compared to the same period last year.大规模投资使得中国成为疫情暴发后第一个经济出现反弹的主要经济体,4月至6月的产量较去年同期增长3.2%。


rebound还可作名词,表示「恢复,回升,振作」。比如《经济学人》2021年2月一篇介绍新冠疫情对非洲影响的文章有这样一句话:

Whereas rich countries can hope for a rapid economic rebound as they vaccinate their people, Africa is years away from jabbing enough to achieve general immunity. 富裕国家在接种疫苗后会迎来经济的快速反弹,但非洲要花数年才能实现群体免疫。


同义的高频表达的还有bouncebounce back

bounce 是动词,表示「弹跳」,bounce / bounce back 还可表示「反弹」。

比如《经济学人》一篇关于中国互联网行业的文章曾这样写道:China’s stockmarket has bounced in 2019.中国股市在2019年已经反弹。

《经济学人》一篇关于疫情后世界经济的文章也用到了这个词:

That is not a concern for China, which so far seems to be emerging from the pandemic strongest—at least in the short run. Its economy has bounced back quickly. 中国则没有这方面的顾虑,它从这场疫情中的复苏势头目前看来最为强劲——至少在短期内是如此。中国经济已经迅速反弹。


名词形式为bounceback,比如《经济学人》一篇关于韩国疫情的文章就用到了个词:The bounceback in domestic tourism has been swift, as people have grown keener to get away from it all but have little scope to travel abroad.人们由于想尽快摆脱疫情,加之外境旅行范围有限,致使国内旅游业的反弹非常迅速。


以后我们想表达「经济恢复」,除了人人都会用的recover,还可以试一试reboundbounce, bounce back等词,让自己的表达更加丰富多样。

 

the major economy 指「主要经济体」。
在英文中,与中文国家一词相近的词至少有四个是比较常用的:
economy 是从经济角度讲的国家
state 是从政治体制和国家机器讲的国家
country 是从地缘角度讲的国家」。
nation 是从民族讲的国家」
在写作中,发达国家除了用the developed world, the rich world 表达外,还可以说advanced economies 「发达经济体」,而发达国家之外,以中国为代表的发展迅速的国家,可以用emerging economies 「新兴经济体」来表达。

习大大2021新年贺词的英译版里就出现了这个词:

China is the first major economy worldwide to achieve positive growth, and its GDP in 2020 is expected to step up to a new level of 100 trillion yuan. 我国在世界主要经济体中率先实现正增长,预计2020年国内生产总值迈上百万亿元新台阶。


Still, one area remains sorely lacking: the supply of desirable, well-paying jobs for the country’s rapidly ballooning count of university graduates. Most of the recovery has been fueled by blue-collar sectors such as manufacturing, on which the Chinese economy still relies heavily.
然而,有一个领域仍严重匮乏:为中国迅速增长的大学毕业生人数提供理想又高薪的工作。这次经济复苏主要是由制造业等蓝领产业推动,中国经济仍然严重依赖这些行业。 

sth is sorely lacking.  表示「某物严重匮乏」。这个句型可以直接背下来,用在作文里。

《中国日报》一篇关于中美贸易战的文章也用到了一模一样的表达:

Now, more than ever, a fragile world is in desperate need of political will and wisdom — and a leadership courage that is sorely lacking today.

现在这个世界比以往任何时候都更加迫切地需要政治智慧,以及一种极度缺乏的、领导者应当具备的胆识。


再比如Vice杂志一篇文章称,应试教育下的中国社会对诵读困难症的了解极度缺乏。文章是这样写的:

In a society as grades-obsessed as China, public awareness of dyslexia is sorely lacking.

外媒一篇关于中国996工作制的报道也用到了这个词:

Despite laws that were designed to safeguard workers’ rights, actual labor protection remains sorely lacking in China’s workplaces. This is due to a host of reasons, including costly and lengthy legal processes, governmental suppression of labor activism, and peer pressure.

尽管制定了维护员工权益的法律,但中国的工作环境仍然极度缺乏真正的劳动保护。这是由于许多原因造成的,包括昂贵又漫长的法律程序,政府对劳工积极主义的镇压,以及同辈压力。


lacking 为形容词,表示「缺乏的,欠缺的」。动词为lack,如果要表达「极度缺乏某物」,我们可以说sorely lack sth


sorely 指「非常地;极严重地」(very much or very seriously),相当于seriously,severely。比如:Jim will be sorely missed. 大家会非常想念吉姆。
举两个外刊中的例子:
Training nurses, more of which are sorely needed to care for America’s ageing population, is not an illogical next step—especially when many nursing schools have to turn people away.下一步它准备开展护士培训,这并非不合逻辑——人口老龄化的美国亟需更多护士,尤其是在当前很多护校无力招收更多学生的情况下。

sore 作形容词时,表示「疼痛的,酸痛的」,比如:to have a sore throat 嗓子疼

sore 还可表示「极度的,非常的」(used to emphasize how serious, difficult etc something is)比如:Inner city schools are in sore need of extra funds. 市中心贫民区的学校极需增加经费。

顺便跟大家讲一讲与sore 相关的一个高高频地道表达:
a sight for sore eyes 
字面义是「消除眼睛疲劳的美景」,引申为「喜欢见到的人/物;赏心悦目的人/物」。英文解释是a person or thing that you are pleased to see; something that is very pleasant to look at。
比如你见到了想见的人,可以对他说:You're a sight for sore eyes!
再比如,经过长途跋涉后你终于看到了一面清澈的湖,令人心旷神怡,这时你可以说:The lake was a sight for sore eyes.



balloon作名词,是「气球」的意思,大家都知道。balloon还可以作动词,像气球一样飞升,表示「突然增加,激增」 (to suddenly become larger in amount)。文中ballooning为现在分词作定语,修饰count,the country’s rapidly ballooning count of university graduates 指中国快速增长的大学生数量。
balloon是外刊里的高频小词,我们再来看几个句子:
The pension-plan deficits of companies and local governments have ballooned because it costs more to honor future pension promises when interest rates fall.公司和地方政府养老金计划的赤字已经激增,因为当利率降低时,要保证未来养老金的发放需要投入更多资金。
同样表示「激增」的高频词还有:surge, soar, jump, shoot up, rocket, skyrocket等等。


desirable 来自于动词desire,指「理想的,值得拥有的;值得做的」(something that is desirable is worth having or doing)。比如:The ability to speak a foreign language is highly desirable. 能说一门外语是非常理想的。


well-paying 为形容词,指「工资优厚的,报酬优惠的」。我们常说的「高薪工作」,就可以用well-paying jobs来表达。


大家注意,两个形容词也可以由逗号连接,不用and,如这里的desirable, well-paying jobs。再举两个例子:

Like I am hearing your most private, most intimate thoughts.


He is going for a strong, silent type.

 

fuel 作名词指「燃料」,作动词指「加燃料,加油」,还可引申为「使...恶化;使...更强烈」(to make something, especially something bad, increase or become stronger)。比如:His words fueled her anger still more. 他的话火上浇油,使她更愤怒了。

《纽约时报》一篇关于范冰冰的文章也用到过这个词:
Her disappearance has been greeted with concern among fans and fear among her counterparts in the industry. It
has fueled a flurry of rumors of personal rivalries and political intrigue, even at the pinnacles of power in Beijing, though few concrete facts.

她的失踪引起了粉丝的担忧,也让业内同行感到恐惧。这件事也引发了关于个人恩怨和政治阴谋的频繁传言,甚至涉及到北京的权力巅峰,但没有多少具体的事实。



02


第二段,作者指出许多学生为延缓就业危机,选择继续读书,催生考研热。
With the encouragement of the government, many students are turning to a stopgap solution: staying in school. 
在政府的鼓励下,许多学生正转而选择一个权宜之计:继续念书。


stopgap 指「权宜之计;临时替代的物或人」(something or someone that you use for a short time until you can replace it with something better)。比如:It's only a stopgap measure, not a long-term solution. 那只是权宜之计,不是长期的解决方案。

VOA一篇关于流浪汉的报道也用到了这个词:Advocates for the homeless agree that tent cities are just a stopgap measure. 支持流浪者的人一致认为,帐篷城市只是一种权宜之计。

同样表示「权宜之计」的还有an expedient, a palliative, a quick fix等词,大家可以打包记忆。我们来看一些例句:

Universality reinforces the idea that free education is not an expedient form of redistribution, but part of a system of collective insurance underpinning an egalitarian society.

“普及”强化了这样一种观点,即免费教育不是一种再分配的权宜之计,而是支撑起平等主义社会的集体保障系统的一部分。

And as the election has drawn closer, Mr Modi has resorted to politically expedient policies that are likely to harm the economy.

随着大选临近,莫迪采取了可能损害经济的政治权宜之计。

The loan was a palliative, not a cure, for ever-increasing financial troubles.

对于越来越多的财政问题,贷款只是权宜之计,不是解决方法。

The increase in the number of rooms available in private homes acted as a palliative to the general accommodation shortage.私宅中可用房间数的增加缓解了客房总体不足的问题。

But there are no quick fixes to this long-term trend. 但是针对这种长期形成的问题,没有快速解决方案。


China’s Ministry of Education announced at the height of the outbreak that it would order universities to expand the number of master’s candidates by 189,000, a nearly 25 percent increase, to ease unemployment. Undergraduate slots would also increase by more than 300,000.
在疫情最严重的时候,中国教育部宣布,大学扩招18.9万硕士生——增幅近25%,以缓解失业。本科生也将扩招30万以上。


at the height of sth 是一个词组,表示「在 ...的最盛时期,在...的高潮中」。

比如:He is at the height of his career. 他正处于事业的巅峰。 
I wouldn't go there in the height of summer.我不会在盛夏时节去那里的。 

The crisis was at its height in May. 危机在五月份到了最严重的关头。


ease unemployment 指「缓解失业问题」。

ease 作动词,表示「减轻,缓解」(to become or to make sth less unpleasant, painful, severe, etc)。比如:

ease congestion in the city 缓解城市交通拥堵状况

ease the burden on sb 减轻某人的负担

ease the pain 减轻阵痛

ease restrictions 放宽限制

比如《经济学人》一篇论述疫情对电影行业影响的文章有这样一句话:
As countries
have eased restrictions and audiences prepared to return, cinemas are finding little to show them.随着各国放宽限制,观众们准备回归,电影院却发现没什么影片能够上映。

万物既伟大又渺小:Just trying to ease the laundry burden before I leave for college next week.


slot 作名词,可表示「位置,名额,时间」(position, a time or an opportunity for sb / sth)undergraduate slots这里就是「本科生招生名额」的意思。
再举个例子:He has a regular slot on the late-night programme. 他在深夜节目中有一档固定栏目。

slot  sb / sth in 为动词短语,表示「为…安排时间,为...提供机会,安置」,比如:We should be able to slot the meeting in before lunch.我们应该可以把会议安排在午饭之前。


无耻之徒:The remaining slots are reserved for students of color.

No, I got that slotted in for next Thurseday.




03


第三段紧接上一段,用数据指出考研的火热程度。
Nearly four million hopefuls took the graduate entrance exam last month, an almost 11 percent increase from the year before and more than double the number from 2016.
上个月,近400万考生参加了研究生入学考试,同比增长近11%,为2016年的一倍多。

hopeful 此处不是形容词,而是名词,表示「希望获得成功的人」(someone who is hoping to be successful, especially in acting, sports, politics etc)。比如:Thousands of young hopefuls were auditioned for the role. 几千名雄心勃勃的年轻人参加了这一角色的试演。


take the graduate entrance exam 指「考研,参加研究生入学考试」。

「参加考试」除了用take exams,还可以用sit exams 来表达。

Only five blind people sat China's university entrance exam this year.


Despite covid-19, schoolchildren should still sit exam.

double 作动词,指「是...的两倍」,more than double 即「是...的两倍多,增加了一倍多」 。我们在经济学人精读社第4季学过一篇关于大兴机场的文章,文中也用到了这个词:

That building (also designed by a British architect), along with a new runway, more than doubled the airport’s capacity to 80m passengers per year.

该建筑(同样由一位英国建筑师设计)加上一条新跑道,将机 场的年客流吞吐量提高了一倍多,达到了8000万人次。


04


第四段,作者剖析扩招背后的严重问题:中国大学生毕业后找不到合适的工作。
School is a common landing pad worldwide during times of economic uncertainty, but in China, the push to expand enrollment lays bare a long-running problem. 
在经济不稳定时期,学校是世界各地人们普遍选择的着陆点,但在中国,推动扩招暴露了一个长期存在的问题。
Even before the pandemic, the country’s graduates complained that there were not enough suitable jobs. Official employment numbers are unreliable, but the authorities said in 2014 that unemployment rates for the college-educated two months after graduation were as high as 30 percent in some areas.
即便在疫情暴发前,中国毕业生就已抱怨没有充足的适合自己的工作。官方就业数据并不可靠,但政府在2014年表示,大学生在毕业两个月后的失业率在某些地区高达30%。

a landing pad 本义是指「停机坪,着陆架」,喻指「着陆点」。


lay sth bare 是一个词组,bare作形容词,是「空的;赤裸的,无遮蔽的」的意思,lay sth bare 表示「暴露;揭露」(to show sth that was covered or to make sth known that was secret)。后面通常接名词,比如:lay bare a plot/a secret 揭露阴谋/秘密。


《纽约时报》一篇关于张恒郑爽代孕丑闻的文章也用到了这个词:

In particular, it has laid bare an undeniable fact: Surrogate births have become a popular option for Chinese people with the will and the means to travel abroad to find birth mothers outside the country.

尤其是,丑闻暴露了一个不可否认的事实:代孕已经成为有意愿、有能力去国外寻找代孕妈妈的中国人的流行选择。

 

再比如:阿黛尔《Rolling in the Deep》中有句歌词唱到:

Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare

继续出卖我我就揭露你所有见不得人的秘密

 

我们再来看一个外刊中常与bare搭配使用的动词:strip。

strip作动词指「脱去衣服;剥掉」,所以strip sth bare 可以理解成「抢购一空,洗劫一空」。比如《经济学人》报道民众抢购厕纸时提到:

Supermarket shelves were stripped bare; tissue paper and kitchen towels were also snapped up. 超市货架被抢购一空,厕纸和厨房用纸也遭到了抢购。


《经济学人》一篇关于中国游客对邮轮公司影响的文章也用到了这个词:

Shops on Royal Carribean and Carnival voyages were regularly stripped bare of everything from Bulgari necklaces to South Korean rice cookers.皇家加勒比和嘉年华邮轮上的商店经常被扫荡一空,从宝格丽项链到韩国电饭煲一件不剩。


long-running为形容词,指「持续时间长的」(that has been continuing for a long time)。比如:a long-running dispute 长期的争端。

再比如《纽约时报》一篇关于马云的文章有这样一句话:

For all of China’s economic success, a long-running resentment of the rich, sometimes called the wealthy-hating complex, has long bubbled below the surface. With Mr. Ma, it has emerged with a vengeance. 尽管中国在经济上取得了成功,但在表面之下,人们长期以来存在对富人的不满,这种不满有时被称为“仇富情结”。对马云的仇富情结更深。 


a long-running problem 指「长期存在的问题」,这个表达可以积累下来。同义词还有a perennial problem, a long-lasting problem。

 


05


第五段作者阐述扩招可能带来的问题:加剧就业竞争,学历贬值,延缓失业危机。
As a result, many Chinese have worried that the expansion of graduate slots will increase already fierce competition for jobs, dilute the value of advanced degrees or postpone an unemployment crisis. “Are graduate students under siege?” the headline of one state-controlled publication read.
因此,许多中国人担心,扩招会加剧本已激烈的就业竞争,造成学历贬值或推迟失业危机。《研究生被困住了吗》一篇官媒报道的标题这样写道。


the expansion of graduate slots 表示「扩招」。


fierce competition指「激烈的竞争」。除了fierce,我们还可以用 cut-throat来形容竞争的激烈、残酷。
cut-throat这个词很形象,cut throat 掐对方脖子,用来形容争得你死我活的,竞争激烈的,比fierce这个词程度更深。比如:
毕业后你不得不面对残酷的竞争:You have to face cutthroat competition after graduation.
be fiercely competitive 是形容词词组,表示「竞争激烈的」。

《经济学人》一篇描述中国大学生毕业即失业现象的文章就连用了这fierce, cut-throat两个词来形容竞争激烈。

Competition for graduate jobs had already grown fierce in recent years, particularly for the most prestigious positions. Now it is cut-throat

近年毕业生的就业竞争本已变得非常激烈,尤其是围绕那些知名公司的职位。如今竞争已呈白热化。


dilute 作动词,本义是「稀释;冲淡」,引申为「削弱;降低;使...降低效果」(to make sth weaker or less effective)

文中dilute the value of advanced degrees 稀释、降低高等学历的价值,也就是我们平时说的「让学历贬值」。

再举一个例子:Large classes dilute the quality of education that children receive. 大班上课会降低孩子所受教育的质量。
《纽约时报》一篇关于邓小平的文章也用到了这个词:. By early in the next decade, the reforms Mr. Deng ignited may well propel China's economy to the position of third largest, after the United States and Japan, but China's prosperity
will be diluted by the increasing number of Chinese.进入下一个10年的时候,由邓小平开启的经济改革很可能让中国经济跃居世界第三,在美国和日本之后;但中国的繁荣也将被增长的人口稀释。


 

siege作名词指「围困,封锁,包围」。under siege 则表示「被围攻,被包围」。短语lay siege to sth则表示「围困,围攻」。

比如:The TV station has been under siege from irate viewers phoning in to complain. 电视台受到愤怒观众的围攻,他们不断打电话来投诉。

电影《小丑》里也出现过这个词:



read 此处是一个熟词僻义,意思是指示牌、信上等「写着」(used to say what words are on asign, in a letter etc),相当于say。比如:

A sign on the outer door read: 'No Entry'. 外边的门上有一块牌子写着“禁止入内”。


06


第六段作者阐述政府十分重视大学毕业生的两大原因:经济发展,社会稳定。
The Communist Party in recent years has frequently linked the prosperity of college graduates not only to economic development, but also to “social stability,” worrying that they could be a source of political unrest if their economic fortunes falter.
近年来,共产党不但经常将大学毕业生的光明前途与经济发展联系在一起,而且与“社会稳定”联系在一起,担心如果他们经济命运不佳,会带来政治动荡。
prosperity [prɒsˈperɪti]  为不可数名词,指「兴旺;繁荣;成功;昌盛」。
prosper 为动词,指「繁荣,兴旺」。
prosperous 为形容词,表示「繁荣的;成功的;兴旺的」。比如:prosperous countries 繁荣的国家 


source是「来源」的意思,引申为「起源;根源;原因」(a person or thing that causes sth, especially a problem)
be a source of sth 即「是...的一个原因」,可以用在作文中,分析某件事的原因和结果,替换lead to sth。
比如《新概念英语3》里有一篇关于噪音污染的文章有这样一句话:
Car alarms constantly scream at us in the street and are a source of profound irritation.
在街上,汽车的防盗警报不断对我们吼叫,这是人们极度烦燥的一个原因。

再比如《经济学人》一篇关于火锅的文章才能这样说道:But Chengdu’s plans for a museum suggest that Sichuan hotpot is not only growing in popularity, but is also becoming iconic. If it can set the West on fire, officials may hope it will become a delicious new source of Chinese soft power.但成都的博物馆计划表明,四川火锅不但越来越受欢迎,而且正在成为标志性的东西。如果它能点燃西方味蕾,当局可能希望火锅将成为中国软实力的一个美味新来源。

再比如New Scientist杂志近日一篇文章提到:

As much as tech can be a source of stress, in a time when the world feels more difficult to navigate than usual, it can also be a much-needed source of relief, joy and connection. 尽管科技可能成为压力的来源,但在这个比平时更容易迷失的时代,它也可能成为提供人们迫切需要的慰藉、快乐和社交的源泉。

 

unrest 为名词,指「动荡,动乱,骚动」(a political situation in which people protest or behave violently)。近义词还有 turmoil, tumult, disturbance等等,都是外刊里政治类话题的高频词。

 

falter为动词,本义指在行走方面「蹒跚,踉跄,摇晃」,以及在言语方面「嗓音颤抖,结巴」。

在经济领域里,falter 可以用来表示「衰退,衰弱,不景气」(to become weaker or less effective)

比如:The economy is showing signs of faltering. 经济正出现衰退的迹象。


《纽约时报》一篇描述疫情对经济影响的文章也用到了这个词:As the virus disrupts manufacturing supply chains as well as travel, consumer spending would fall and businesses would falter, and stock prices would plummet.随着病毒扰乱制造供应链以及旅行,消费者支出将下降,企业运转困难,股价暴跌。


fortune此处指个人、家庭、国家等的「命运,际遇」。economic fortunes 指「经济命运」。再比如:
a downturn in the company’s fortunes该公司运势的衰退
This defeat marked a change in the team’s fortunes.这次失败标志着该队开始走下坡路。

07


第七段作者引用莫家豪教授的话,指出政府不能让大学毕业生的期待值过高。
But in seeking to keep unemployment down for those workers, the government must also be careful not to inflate their hopes, said Joshua Mok, a professor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong who studies China’s education policy. 
不过,研究中国教育政策的香港岭南大学教授莫家豪说,在设法降低这些人的失业率的同时,政府还必须谨慎,不能让大学毕业生们产生过高的期望。

in seeking to do sth 这个表达可以积累下来,表示「在寻求...的过程中,为了...」。


inflate 作动词本义是「充气,膨胀」,比如:to inflate a balloon给气球充气,后引申为抽象意义上的「使...膨胀,吹捧,吹嘘」(to make sth appear to be more important or impressive than it really is)

文中inflate one's hope 便表示「抬高某人的希望」。再举个例子:The success further inflated his self-confidence.那次成功使他进一步自我膨胀。

inflate还可用在经济领域,表示「通货膨胀,抬高物价」,名词为inflation。考研英语 2014 Text 2真题里也出现过这个词:During the decade before the economic crisis, spending on legal services in America grew twice as fast as inflation.

再比如彭博社在报道瑞幸造假事件时也用到了这个词:

“Certain costs and expenses were also substantially inflated by fabricated transactions during this period,”Luckin said. 瑞幸表示:“在此期间,某些成本和支出也因虚假交易而大幅增加。”


“It may create a false expectation for those highly skilled people,” Professor Mok said.“The Chinese government has to watch out about how to manage these sorts of expectations.”

“这可能会给那些高技能人才带来不实的期望,”莫家豪教授说。“中国政府必须提防如何处理这种期望。”


false除了表示「错的,不正确的」,还可以指「假的,不真实的」(a statement, story etc that is false is completely untrue)。比如:false accusations 不实的指责。

 

除此以外,false作形容词还指「不真诚的;不诚实的;装腔作势的」比如:She's so false. 她很假。再比如:a false laugh 假笑。



highly skilled people 指「高技能人才」。

watch out 表示「小心,提防」,比如:You have to watch out because there are land mines all over the place.你必须小心,这里到处是地雷。

这篇文章就讲到这里。完整的原文可在公众号「跟Lexie学外刊」👉我的课程👉外刊原文专栏里学习。


最后,我们来总结一下这篇文章的语言点:

☁️话题词汇

从新冠疫情中恢复:rebound from the coronavirus pandemic
经济的快速反弹:a rapid economic rebound
经济复苏:The economy rebounded / bounced / bounced back.
主要经济体:major economies
发达经济体:advanced economies
新兴经济体:emerging economies
权宜之计:a stopgap solution, an expedient, a palliative, a quick fix
在疫情最严重的时候:at the height of the outbreak
参加考试:take exams, sit exams
扩招:the expansion of graduate slots
让学历贬值:dilute the value of advanced degrees 
缓解失业问题:ease unemployment
面对激烈的竞争:face fierce / cut-throat competition
竞争激烈的:be fiercely competitive
衰退:falter
高技能人才:highly skilled people

☁️高频词组
喜欢见到的人或物:a sight for sore eyes 
暴露,揭露:lay sth bare
抢劫一空:strip sth bare
受到围攻:be under siege
激增:balloon, surge, soar, jump, shoot up,  rocket, skyrocket
在...的最盛时期:at the height of sth

☁️写作推荐
某物严重匮乏。
sth is sorely lacking.

某事是一个长期存在的问题。
sth is a long-running / long-lasting  problem. 
sth is a perennial problem.
引出原因:be a source of sth

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