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Colleges enroll more rural students

Luo Wangshu
Updated: Jul 21,2015 7:26 AM     China Daily

China’s top universities are continuing to work on improving equality during admission season, especially through enrolling more students from rural areas.

Officials of Renmin University of China said the school enrolled 314 students from rural areas, about 11.2 percent of the total number of new students, this year. The university plans to enroll around 2,800 new students this year.

“Including this year’s freshmen, the number of students from rural areas in the university will exceed 20 percent,” said Li Xiangqian, director of the university’s admission office.

In 2013, about 15 percent were from rural areas, Li said.

The move is aimed to reduce the education gap between urban and rural areas and increase fairness in education opportunities.

Research conducted by Peking University education Professor Liu Yunshan found that from 1978 to 1998, about 30 percent of PKU students came from rural families, but by 2005 the figure had fallen to 11 percent.

China’s top authorities then made a priority of increasing education equality at the university level. The number of rural students attending key universities was included in both the 2014 and 2015 national Government Work Reports.

Premier Li Keqiang has repeatedly urged increasing the number of students from rural areas who are attending top universities.

The Ministry of Education launched a national program that required key universities to enroll 10,000 students from rural areas in 2012. The number increased to 30,000 in 2013 and 50,000 this year.

Tsinghua University released an admission plan in May that said the university will recruit about 10 percent of its students from rural areas through special programs for such students.

The university recruited a total of 3,372 students last year, and the number was nearly the same this year.