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Poor Chinese students "ashamed" of their plight

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, July 6 (Reuters) Sixty percent of Chinese university students coming from poor families feel ''utterly ashamed'', Xinhua news agency said today, quoting a recent survey.

The poll, released by China Youth Development Foundation, surveyed 400 students in Beijing whose families had financial difficulties.

Nearly 70 percent of the students came from the countryside.

''According to the survey, 60 percent of the polled students said they felt utterly ashamed for being poor, and 22.5 percent of them had very low self-esteem, as they frequently considered themselves inferior to others,'' Xinhua said.

The costs of higher education in China, all but free 20 years ago, have soared.

The price of four years at university, at least 28,000 yuan (3,500 dollar), was the equivalent of what an average Chinese farmer earned in 35 years, Xinhua reported earlier.

China launched a scheme in 1999 to provide subsidised loans to poor students, but many banks backed away after suffering a rise in repayment defaults as graduates failed to find jobs.

REUTERS SK DS1132

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