Top Schools Give Chances to Rural Students

April 14, 2016
By Zhou WentingEditor: Jane Wang

Fudan University smooths way for students from remote areas to apply for admission

Students in remote or impoverished rural regions who are in their final grade in high school will no longer need to make the long journey to Shanghai for written tests and interviews to secure a place in prestigious Fudan University.

Instead, they need only submit materials online and take the college entrance exam, or gaokao, near home. If they score 50 points higher than the provincial minimum for a first-tier university, they may receive an offer from Fudan.

"We are endeavoring to lighten students'economic burdens and help them fulfill their dreams of enjoying the country's highest quality educational resources at low cost," said Ding Guanghong, assistant to the president of Fudan.

The Ministry of Education kicked off a national program in 2012 to enroll top high school graduates from the poorest rural regions in 95 elite universities. The program is to assist in the fight against poverty.

Roughly 60,000 top rural students nationwide will benefit from the program this year. The figure was 10,000 in the first year and has risen every year since.

Candidates who want to compete for a spot at Fudan through the program need to submit materials online before April 25 including academic ranking, evidence of school performance, strong points in subjects and spirit of innovation and potential. Fudan will release the list of qualifying students in late May. Performance in the gaokao will be key, according to the admission rules.

"Through the program this year Fudan will recruit 400 students, accounting for 13 percent of the total quota, which is quite high," Ding said.

Thanks to the program, the ratio of students from rural areas in Fudan increased from 10.4 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2014. Students from central and western areas rose from 35.9 percent in 2012 to 43.7 last year, university figures show.

New recruits will also receive an opportunity for fully paid overseas exchange programs to attend world-class universities including the University of California, Berkeley, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Hong Kong.

Ding said the top rural students outperformed their counterparts from cities academically.

"For example, students who enrolled at Fudan through the program in 2014 had an average GPA of 3.21 in the spring semester of 2015," Ding said. "The average GPA of all students was 3.05."

Peking University and Tsinghua University recently released their own admission rules for the program. Candidates who want to compete for a place at Peking University first need to submit materials online and participate in a three-day test at the university in June.

Students interested in Tsinghua University also need to hand in materials online and take exams in mathematics, physics, reading, presentation and physical fitness.

Recruiting programs

Tsinghua University started a program to recruit students from impoverished areas in 2011. During the past five years, more than 200 students from over 100 rural high schools have enrolled.

Peking University started a program in 2015 to recruit top students from the countryside. In 2016, as many as 27 disciplines were open to recruited students, including math, physics, information technology, environment, psychology, Chinese culture and history, sociology, philosophy and international relations.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University joined the recruiting program in 2015, and students recruited accounted for about 2 percent of students recruited that year. The university has maintained that proportion in 2016.

(Source: China Daily)

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