师范生公费教育(shīfànshēng gōngfèi jiàoyù): State-financed education for students at normal universities
The Ministry of Education recently issued a document on State-financed education for students at normal universities. According to the new State-financed education system, students studying at normal universities directly under the administration of the Ministry of Education will have their tuition and accommodation fees waived and receive subsidies to help pay for their living expenses. And they must work at least six years as a teacher after graduation, among which two years must be spent working in schools of rural regions.
The State-financed education system for students at normal universities is an upgrade on the former free education system for normal university students, which was launched in six pilot normal universities in 2007.
By the end of last year, more than 100,000 students had been enrolled in the free education program for normal university students. A majority of them serve as teachers in primary and middle schools in the central and western regions after graduation, which alleviates the problem of the shortage of teachers in remote and impoverished regions.
The State-financed education system for students at normal universities changes the former service length for the recipients from 10 years to six years of teaching. In addition, it also advances policies such as establishing special scholarships and recommending qualified teachers for postgraduate studies and exempting them from the admission exam. These new measures aim to increase the attraction of the State-financed education of normal university students and further improve the quality of education in remote and impoverished rural regions.