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A Study of the Process of Establishing the Student Stipend System in the Early Years of the PRC <Articles>
This paper aims at explicating the process of introducing a new student stipend system in the early years of People's Republic of China. In China tuition fees have been collected at the elementary and secondary level, but not at the college level for more than 40 years since the establishment of the new government. Furthermore, students are allowed to live in dormitories without charge although space is very limited with 6 to 7 people in a small room. Those who have financial difficulties in paying the necessary costs including food expenses have been provided a kind of stipend. This stipend is called the "Renmin Zhuxuejin" or People's Stipend and is not a loan. Its main purpose is not to reward honor students but to relieve the financial burdens of poor students. On establishing the new government, it became imperative to open the university door to workers and peasants who had been deprived of educational opportunities for a long time and to increase the proportion of those groups in college enrollment. For this purpose preference in admission was not enough. Various aid was also necessary. And the focal measure was the People's Stipend.
As for student aid, there were two types prior to the People's Stipend. One was the public scholarship seen in areas ruled by the Nationalist Party and the other was the method of furnishing students all necessary goods as practiced in the Communist areas. The former applied only to the students in teacher-training courses as well as a limited number of honor students. Later it had a wider range of application due to the serious wartime conditions. The People's Stipend applied to a much wider range of students than the Nationalist wartime scholarship in order to open the university door for the working class. The Communist method was more generous in that it covered food, clothing and housing for every student. In selecting the recipients of the Stipend the new government's principle was reflected in giving priority to those who had made distinguished contributions to the revolution and their children, poor workers and peasants, minority students as well as overseas Chinese students.