Sunday 15 July 2012

More Disadvantaged Students to be Enrolled in College

Some 570 Chinese universities and colleges have promised to enroll a total of 10,000 more students from the country's 14 least developed areas in central, southwest and northwest China this year. This is the first time for China's universities to offer privileged admission to students from poverty stricken areas. This gives disadvantaged students a better opportunity to realize their university dream.
Zhang Wan takes a closer look.

  These universities and colleges include 73 universities under the Ministry of Education, such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, China's two most prestigious schools. Their plan is to enroll about 3,000 more students from the least developed areas of China.

Around 500 other universities under provincial departments of education have joined this project and have promised to enroll 7,000 additional admissions.

Xu Xiaoli, head of the Southwest University in Chongqing Municipality, says that they decided to admit around 200 more freshmen this year, the largest number of all the state key universities.
"Making the decision to get more rural students into universities is an inescapable duty for our university to make."

The majors included in the project are mainly favorable to the development of rural areas such as agriculture, water engineering and medical science.

In order to meet the demand for rural sustainable development as well as the wishes of students, there are also majors including computer engineering, electronic engineering and majors related to economics.

Cao Xiangming is a student from Huining County, a poverty stricken area in Gansu province. He was recently admitted to the Beijing Jiaotong University with a score of 570 points, and he will major in mechanical engineering and automation in September.

"I am so happy. Without these policies for students from the least developed areas, I would not be able to enroll in a key university. I'll study hard in university and do my best to make a contribution to the country."

Wang Huashen is the director of the admissions office at Beijing Jiaotong University. He says their admission score line this year in Gansu province is 591 points, but thanks to the new policy, students from poverty stricken areas who get slightly lower scores can now also be enrolled.

Under the current system, students are admitted to universities according to their College Entrance Examination scores. The poverty-stricken areas in China, with weaker elementary education, always have fewer opportunities when it comes to universities, especially to good ones.

For instance, the enrollment rate at the first class universities for four-year college students in China's 680 poverty-stricken counties in 2011 was 5.7 percent, much lower than the country's average of 8.5 percent.

However, according to the Ministry of Education, about 1.3 million students from poverty stricken areas attended this year's national college entrance exam, and with this new program, about 10 percent more students will be enrolled by key universities.

The project this year covers a total of 592 counties in 13 provinces, mostly in northwest and southwest areas of the country.

For CRI, I am Zhang Wan.

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