Ministry ensures rural students not left behind

Graduates attend the 2019 opening ceremony of Tsinghua University in Beijing on July 7, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Students living in rural areas have been given more opportunities to attend major universities as a result of a national special enrollment project launched in 2012, the Education Ministry said on Thursday.

The project, which reduces university entrance requirements in rural areas, has resulted in the enrollment of more than 950,000 students over the past decade, said Wang Hui, director of the ministry’s department of college student affairs.

The number of students enrolled in the project has increased from 10,000 in 2012 to 131,000 last year, he said.

The project has become an effective long-term mechanism to ensure students in such fields have better chances of getting admitted to major universities, Wang said at a press conference on achievements in examination reform since the 18th Chinese Communist Party National Congress in 2012 .

According to third-party surveys, the project has received strong approval from students, universities and local authorities, he added.

Ouyang Qian, a senior education official in Guangdong, said local efforts have resulted in the enrollment of more than 13,000 rural students in universities in the province.

Through national and local projects, students with financial difficulties in rural areas have almost the same chance as other rural students of getting a place, he said.

To be fair in the gaokao — the national university entrance examination — the ministry has significantly reduced the bonus point system for students with exceptional ability in science and sports.

Athletes, winners of academic Olympiads, including in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, winners of science competitions, provincial star students, and students who have achieved outstanding moral deeds are recognized within the framework of the gaokaosaid Wang.

The ministry has instructed local authorities to reduce the number of points awarded, he said.

Ouyang said that in Guangdong since 2015, all bonus points events have been canceled.

Only four types of students, including children of martyrs and retired soldiers, are eligible for extra points in the gaokao, he said. The former can be awarded 20 extra points, while the latter can be awarded five points. The total number gaokao available points is 750.

In 2020, in order to attract more talents in the undergraduate subjects, the ministry launched a pilot project for enrollment in top universities, focusing on students with special talents in subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, history, philosophy and ancient Chinese characters.

More than 18,000 students are enrolled in the project at 39 top universities, Wang added.

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