High school students in the less-developed middle and western regions of China will have a better chance to get into universities this year.
The Ministry of Education has announced new preferential enrollment policies to help boost education in those regions, as well as to narrow the widening gap between East and West China.
New quotas call for more students from the middle and western regions to be accepted into Chinese universities.
The total number of students enrolled for the coming fall semester from the middle region will increase by 6.5%, while the western region will see a 7.3% jump, both higher than the country’s average growth rate of 5%, according to a press release on the ministry’s website.
The middle and western regions of China are home to nearly 30% of the country’s 1.3 billion population. Those areas are also home to most of the country’s ethnic minorities, including Tibetans, Inner Mongolians and Uygurs.
Also, six normal universities will educate more than 7,000 teachers-to-be for free, in return for their agreement to go back to their home regions and teach for a minimum of three years.
China Daily reports that experts suggest that the government should invest more into the schools in the less-developed regions — our illustration shows Uygur schoolchildren — as well as explore other financial channels to help the western and middle regions.
For example, Professor Ji Zhilai from Shaanxi province’s Xianyang Normal College, said, "a special education fund for ethnic minority groups should be set up to reward those who make great contribution in this regard."