Business boost for China poor

July 26, 1996

A company president who suffered hardship is helping impoverished students.

China's largest-ever scholarship fund for university students has been established in Beijing following a 10 million yuan (Pounds 833,000) donation from a successful local company.

The All-China Students Federation and the Chinese Communist Youth League Central Committee has received the gift from the Beijing Jianhao Company to award scholarships to 100 top university students each year.

Many students will receive as much as 10,000 yuan for outstanding academic achievements, outstanding inventions and voluntary service.

Those put forward as candidates must distinguish themselves at university, provincial and national level selection committees to earn the awards presented at the end of each year.

A national team of experts, made up of young scholars and education officials is in the process of determining the winners of the scholarship this year.

Youth league sources said the scholarships will form part of an awarding system the league intends to expand over the next two or three years.

Last October the league established a 1.2 million yuan scholarship fund to help poor students complete their university education.

Promising students in financial difficulties will also receive a proportion of the funds in the form of special awards.

This was introduced at the special request of Beijing Jianhao Company president Yuan Baojing, who himself experienced hardship as a student from a poor background.

Mr Yuan worked his way through the China Legal University, surviving on a small income from part-time and evening jobs, finally graduating with honours in 1988.

At the signing ceremony Yuan urged other successful business people to give all the backing they could to education, with an eye to the future development of the country and their own businesses.

Sun Jiniong, a youth league official and central committee secretariat member, said the league is trying to foster dedicated students who study hard and refuse to give up when faced with problems.

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