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Elite universities give more chances to rural poor in China

Reporter: Lin Nan 丨 CCTV.com

06-06-2016 13:14 BJT

The distribution of education resources has long been unfairly balanced in China between east and west, rural and urban. To level the playing field for outstanding students from remote or impoverished rural regions, top universities in China are offering more chances for them to access their facilities.

Sophomore student Chen Meng is raising funds to help a primary school in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region this summer. She has been taking part in volunteering activities like this since entering Fudan University, one of the top universities in China.

Chen said, "The education resource distribution between east and west, rural areas and cities is unfair in China. I have benefited from social support to conquer this gap, and I want to make an effort to pass on the goodwill, and change this situation."

Chen grew up in a small town near Chongqing in southwest China, where the teaching resources and methods are less advanced than in big cities in the east. She secured a spot at Fudan University through a scheme called Take off Plan.

The Ministry of Education has kicked off a national plan to enroll top high school graduates from the poorest rural regions in elite universities. The program aims to level the playing field for the rural poor.

Under the program, high school graduates submit their portfolios to universities, and take writing tests and individual interviews before participating in the national college entrance exam, or gaokao.

Those elite universities will then consider students' background and academic performance, and lower the minimum requirement for their gaokao scores. The program is to assist in the fight against poverty.

Chen also said, "The gap in education is quite big between rural areas and cities, not only in the teaching quality, but also peoples' attitudes and the atmosphere in schools. Many people think study is useless, and I saw some of my classmates dropping out even after middle school."

Roughly 60,000 top rural students nationwide will benefit from the program this year. New recruits will also receive financial and study support from schools to help them overcome any obstacles in their way.

"Our principle is once these students enter the universities through lower requirements, we will help them cross the gap and make sure they are as good as any other students upon graduation," said Guo Juan, deputy director of Office of Student Affairs, Fudan University.

The universities will also offer help in terms of psychological support, development planning as well as overseas exchange programs to broaden their views and brighten their futures.

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