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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 17:00, December 07, 2006
China to waive loan repayments for graduates working in remote areas
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China will help needy university students to repay loans they borrowed for university study to encourage more university graduates to work in remote and underdeveloped areas from 2007, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE).

The central government will help 5,000 needy university students to repay their state-subsidized student loans, if they agree to work in China's western regions and remote rural areas upon graduation in 2007, the MOE said on Wednesday.

Loan repayments will be waived for students of state-sponsored universities if they are willing to work in remote and undeveloped areas for at least three years, according to a Ministry of Education (MOE) regulation released in September that will take effect in 2007.

State-subsidized student loans are granted by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to students in full-time university study to cover tuition fees and living costs.

About 600,000 students will graduate from 115 state-sponsored universities next year and 95,000 of them have loans.

The Ministry predicts that a total of 4.95 million students will graduate from higher learning institutions next year, 820,000 more than this year. 1.4 million of them -- 3 out of 10 -- will not be able to find jobs on graduation because of a tight employment market.

Most graduates tend to stay in big cities where they encounter great difficulties in finding a suitable job. There are more vacancies in smaller cities and rural areas but graduates are less keen to go there.

The unbalanced geographic distribution of graduate employment is an issue that needs to be tackled, the MOE said.

The government is adopting a series of policies to help students find jobs. One of them consists in encouraging more students to work in grass-roots institutes and in rural, western China.

Source: Xinhua

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