Chinese universities and colleges are no longer allowed to kick out married students who get pregnant or give birth, according to a statement posted on the Website of the country's family planning regulator Friday.
However, pregnant students are encouraged to suspend their studies to ensure they stay healthy, said the joint statement by China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Security.
And universities and colleges must strengthen education on the family planning policy and sexual knowledge, including contraception, the statement said.
Schools are asked to tell their students to focus more on their studies and be cautious about love affairs and marriage.
Early last year, a dismissed medical college student won a discrimination case against her school for expelling her because she gave birth while still taking courses.
Wang Hongjie won the suit and got her master's degree from Mudanjiang Medical College in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Under Chinese law, women can marry at 20 and men at 22. But brides over 23 and grooms over 25 are commonly considered to be later marriages, which is officially encouraged.
Students were forbidden to marry until the law was changed in September 2005.
Yesterday's statement also requires colleges to hire people to track married students on campus and help them.
Student couples who give birth will be issued certificates after they registered their baby with colleges, and the information on the certificate will be recorded on the students' personnel files.
Local police stations are asked to register the newborn child by giving them a "hukou" - a certificate of residence.
(Shanghai Daily August 4, 2007)