The Chinese Ministries of Education and Finance officially initiated Tuesday the first national scholarship since 1987 to allow poor college students to complete their schooling.
The two ministries had already issued a set of regulations on managing the national scholarship, which will come into effect from September 1.
The scholarship will be awarded to 45,000 students annually, of whom 10,000 top award winners will each have 6,000 yuan each year, and the other 35,000 will have 4,000 yuan.
Freshmen and on-campus students may personally apply for a scholarship of more than one year. Universities and colleges will not charge tuition fees from students gaining a national scholarship.
Schools like normal universities, universities for ethical studies and those with majors like agriculture and forestry are allowed to have more candidates for the scholarship.
So far, China has built up a governmental administration system to aid poor students. From 1994 to 2000, China put 945 million yuan into helping poor students at some schools.
Statistics show that by the end of 2001, China had more than 13 million students taking higher education, and the enrollment rate was 13 percent. It is expected that China will have more than 16 million college students by the end of 2005.
Students from worse-off families account for 20 percent of the total, and some 10 percent have severe difficulties.
(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2002)