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Bonus points boost odds of university admission

By CUI JIA (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-06-26 07:16:00

China has decided to offer students from the southern areas of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region bonus points that will be added to the total scores of their national college examination, also known as gaokao, to give them a better chance of obtaining a place at a college or university.

The move is part of the central government's plan to let more students from southern Xinjiang have the opportunity to receive higher education, said Sun Hongxin, director of the Xinjiang admissions office.

Han Chinese students from Xinjiang's Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu and Kizilsu Kirgiz autonomous prefectures will receive 10 extra points. The bonus points for students of 11 ethnic groups including Uygur, Kazak, Kirghiz and Uzbek would increase from 10 to 50 this year if they have taken the gaokao in Mandarin-China's official language.

In addition, 734 colleges and universities around China will offer 3,680 places especially for students from southern Xinjiang.

Sun said that more than 47,000 students will benefit from the latest preferential policy approved by the Ministry of Education.

During a meeting in May last year, President Xi Jinping said that southern Xinjiang's development should be planned at the State level. He said special policies were going to be adopted to help develop the region.

Xi also said more money should be invested in the education sector. Sponsored by the central and regional government, students from the four prefectures in southern Xinjiang can now enjoy free education until senior high school.

Xinjiang officials believe poverty and a low level of education in the southern region have contributed to the spread of religious extremism and an increasing number of terrorist attacks.

Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang, urged the region's teachers during a meeting this month to improve the quality of basic and bilingual education.

Zhang said education is key to improvement of people's livelihoods, economic development and the solving of Xinjiang's problems.

For historical and social reasons, the region's education system has always been weak and urgently needs to be strengthened, he said.

Xinjiang expects to see 40 percent of its students attending colleges and universities by 2020.