The country will allot about 50 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) a
year to fund needy students from this year's fall semester, a
Ministry of Finance official said yesterday.
The move is another major step toward improving equality in
education, the official said. The central government has already
exempted rural area students from paying tuition and miscellaneous
fees for the nine-year compulsory education scheme.
About 4 million students in 1,800 colleges and universities and
16 million students in 15,000 secondary vocational schools will
benefit from the new scheme, he said.
The ministry will try to make national scholarships, bursaries
and student loans available to more students, and prompt schools to
earmark a certain amount out of their earnings to support needy
students, he said.
The aid to be granted by all levels of financial authorities
during the fall semester will reach 15.4 billion yuan ($2.03
billion). For the whole of next year, it will be 30.8 billion yuan
The official said improving the quality of education and helping
needy students in rural areas finish their nine-year compulsory
education is among the top priorities of the central
By 2010, the nation will have allocated 218.2 billion yuan
($28.7 billion) in total, out of which 125.4 billion yuan ($16.6
billion) will be borne by the central government, he said.
Last year, students in rural areas of western China were
exempted from tuition and miscellaneous fees for the nine-year
compulsory education, and the scheme was extended to central and
eastern regions this year.
(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2007)