[photopress:mba_students.jpg,full,alignright]Poor students may obtain bank loans to be used as their tuition fees for higher learning institutions.The government has launched a new pilot project to provide poor students with loans to help them get through their education.
The project enables poor students to obtain loans from banks in their hometown, and has been carried out in the provinces of Jiangsu, Hubei, Gansu and Shaanxi, and Chongqing Municipality.
According to the China Development Bank, by September 7, more than 33,000 students from the five areas had signed loan contracts, amounting to RMB560 million ($75.7 million.)
The loans are offered only when families have an annual income of less than RMB8,000 ($1,081), or under such conditions as being an orphan, or with handicapped or unemployed parents.
Each student is allowed to get a loan of up to RMB6,000 a year to be mainly used as tuition or dormitory fees. The loan requires no guarantee and can be repaid over ten years after graduation.
The Ministry of Education plans to extend the student loan mechanism to the whole country when enough experience has been gained through the pilot program, and will make it part of the State Sponsorship mechanism.
The Ministry of Finance has announced China will allocate around RMB50 billion ($6.6 billion) every year to fund needy students. About four million students at 1,800 colleges and universities and 16 million students at 15,000 secondary vocational schools would benefit from the financial aid scheme.
An official with the ministry said the move is another major advance in promoting educational equality after the central government exempted students in rural areas from tuition and miscellaneous fees related to nine-year compulsory education last year.
In truth, it is a major investment in the future. What China needs is educated, trained people. A lot more than it has now. These new funds will help ensure this.
Source: China View