Migrants' dream of university a reality

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2011, 12:00am

Getting a university education is a target that it's beyond the financial means of rural migrant workers. But with the help of Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, there's a chance their dream will come true.

A project named '100 Peking University Dream Challengers' has been introduced to educate migrant workers that want the chance to study. Applicants undergo educational training and exams. The top 100 performers will be selected to attend courses offered by the School of Distance Learning at Peking University for free this year.

After studying from two-and-a-half to five years, they earn a bachelor's degree and gain a distance learning diploma.

The opportunity is open to 20 million new-generation migrant workers in Guangdong, and Yi Yuanding is one of those that is excited by the chance.

'I have dreamt of going to university since my childhood, but I have yet to achieve my goal because I do not have the money. I want to change myself through education.' Yi says.

Yi grew up in a single-parent family and, to ease his family's financial burden, went out to work after leaving high school. In his spare time he studies business management. 'Management can help me better communicate with my colleagues and carry out tasks. It is quite a good subject.' Yi says, 'If I get the chance to study at the famous university, I would choose management.'

Chen Yan, a migrant worker who works in Dongguan, also hopes to go to university. She left school and her home to go out to work in 2008 because of family tragedy. 'Knowledge can change one's life. This project can help people like me realise their dreams of pursuing their education,' she says.

Chen Hongyu, deputy secretary of the study scheme, says all 100 learners will be provided with a desktop computer and a wireless 3G card.

'We will also provide them with course CDs and an online Q&A system. And we will invite Peking University teachers to give lectures in Guangdong,' he says.

'Many new-generation migrant workers still yearn for an education. They hope to equip themselves with knowledge so they can have a better life. This project is a great opportunity for them to do so.'