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Ministry ensures rural students not left behind

By ZOU SHUO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-09-19 12:52

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

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

The project, which reduces the university entrance requirements for those living rural areas, has led to the enrollment of more than 950,000 students over the past decade, said Wang Hui, director of the ministry's department of college students affairs.

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

The project has become an effective long-term mechanism for ensuring that students in such areas have greater opportunity to gain admission to key universities, Wang said at a news conference on achievements in exam reform since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012.

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

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

Through national and local projects, students with financial difficulties in rural areas have almost the same opportunity as other rural students in getting university placements, he said.

To ensure fairness in the gaokao — the national college entrance examination — the ministry has trimmed back the bonus-point system considerably for students with exceptional ability in the sciences and sports.

Athletes, winners of academic Olympiads, including in math, physics, chemistry and biology, winners of science competitions, provincial model students and students who have undertaken exceptional moral deeds, are no longer being granted extra points in the gaokao, Wang said.

The ministry has instructed local authorities to decrease the amount of points awarded, he said.

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

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

To cultivate more talent in basic disciplines, the ministry launched a pilot enrollment project at top universities in 2020 focusing on students with special talents in disciplines including math, physics, chemistry, biology, history, philosophy and ancient Chinese characters.

More than 18,000 students have been enrolled to 39 top universities under the project, Wang added.

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