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Uni grads given incentive to work in poor regions

THE central government will repay the school fees or bank loans for college graduates willing to work in remote and poverty-stricken areas of central and western China, according to a notice released jointly yesterday by the Finance Ministry and Education Ministry.

The notice clarified the range of the country's western area, which includes 12 provinces, cities and autonomous regions. They are Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang.

The central area refers to 10 provinces: Hebei, Shanxi, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Hainan.

According to the notice, the graduates should work at least three years in grassroots areas at county-level in the central and western regions.

The repayment amount should be less than 6,000 yuan (US$878) each year, the notice added.

Student applicants will sign a service contract with the school and government before graduation. If they want to terminate the contract, they should apply to the school for permission.

If a student breaks the agreement or commits fraud, he or she will be punished and will be required to return all money paid out by the government. A record will also be kept in the national credit databank.

College graduates have increasingly found it difficult to find a job upon graduation. It became even harder for the 6.1 million expected to graduate in June after the country began to feel the effects of the global financial crisis.

It will likely be tougher to find a job this year as about 1.5 million graduates who failed to find work last year remain unemployed, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.


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