BEIJING, March 24 -- China is eyeing a 10-percent increase in the number of students from impoverished rural areas attending the country's top universities this year, according to a circular released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday.
The MOE said the growth will be realized through expanding three existing programs.
Under the first program, central government-affiliated universities, and key universities at local levels will recruit 50,000 rural students, up from 30,000 last year.
This program will be carried out in 832 impoverished counties and 10 provinces with low rates of enrollment in key universities, said the circular.
Under the second program, MOE-affiliated universities and a handful of universities piloting discretionary enrollment should set aside 2 percent of their enrollment quota for students from underdeveloped regions.
The third program will see leading universities at local levels offer more seats to rural students of the same jurisdiction.
The MOE also stressed transparency in information disclosure and stern qualification assessment of candidates during the enrollment so as to guarantee justice and equality.