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Poor University Students Tour Shanghai

A group of 183 impoverished university students from around the country are currently enjoying a three-day sightseeing trip to Shanghai, courtesy of a scholarship foundation.


The group, which arrived in the city on Wednesday, is made up of top students from 36 of the country's elite universities, including Tsinghua University in Beijing and Shanxi University in Taiyuan.


Most of the students are beneficiaries of the Liuhexing Scholarship - a charity scholarship for elite students from difficult economic situations, according to the Liuhexing Aid Center, which organized the trip.


Students visited the site of the first Communist Party Congress, Xintiandi and Shanghai Baosteel Corporation, China's largest steel producer, yesterday.


Earlier in the week, they stopped by People's Square, Shanghai Museum and the Bund.


The Beijing-based aid center, together with Shanghai Dazhong Transport Group, are spending more than 100,000 yuan (US$12,048) on the tour.


The delegation will leave the city tomorrow morning and head for Hangzhou, the capital city of neighboring Zhejiang Province for five days, center officials said.


"After aiding the needy for years, we found it is more important to take students out for an eye-opening experience than just granting them money," said Cao Xiaoning, an official of the aid center.


Besides granting 5,000 yuan a year to each of the needy students to help pay tuition fees, the center also organizes two out-of-province trips during every summer and winter vocations since 2001.


"Shanghai's modern city sites impressed me and greatly broadened my mind," said Li Xiongfei, a first-year student at Taiyuan University of Science and Technology in Shanxi Province. "I was very glad to be given the opportunity, which is almost unimaginable for my family."


(Shanghai Daily January 31, 2004)


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