High school graduates who enroll in China’s top-two universities of Tsinghua and Peking will be awarded RMB100,000 each ($14,638), according to an enrollment notice in China’s Shaanxi Province.
Yang Yun, principal of the Wuqi Senior High School, the only high school in the county of 120,000 people and shown here, said, "We know it is rare to offer such high award to elite students. But no students from our county has ever been admitted to the two top universities in the last 30 years. We think it is a shame, as the county has been better off and has invested heavily in boosting education."
He said the school has taken steps to attract excellent students, including cash awards for students achieving high scores in the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE), scholarships for various talents and financial subsidies for students from low-income households.
Wuqi has a deposit of 150 million tons of petroleum and natural gas. The county has become better-off through developing the petrochemical industry. Its financial revenue surpassed RMB2 billion in 2006, when it became the richest county in Shaanxi.
As a result, the county government has been able to invest RMB140 million to help upgrade the Wuqi Senior High School in 2005. In 2007, the county carried out 12-year free compulsory education for local students, as compared to the country’s previous nine-year free compulsory education.
China View reported that since 2008, the school has began to recruit good teachers nationwide with yearly salaries as high as RMB150,000, which is about the standard of a white-collar salary in big cities. It has also set up an RMB10 million grant for special teaching and research projects.