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High tuition fees drive mother to suicide
By Yu Zhong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-22 06:21

The day after Li's death, Deng received her admission notice as well as a document listing various financial aid policies available from the government.

The girl is still struggling to accept the harsh reality: "Would my mum have chosen to die if she had known about these policies?"

Perhaps not, but would the family thus have been relieved from their burden?

"This college's tuition is far more than average rural people can afford," said Wang Chunming, an official at Beijing University of Technology in charge of student loans. "But poor students can finish their college studies by taking student loans or being exempted from tuition fees."

But the student loan system has been criticized for having several loopholes.

Lu Fachang, an employee of the Yunnan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, said the risk involved in student loans is high because of lack of a sound credit system. The poor repayment rates make banks reluctant to offer student loans.

Both Wang and Lu called for a new improved student loans system. "Students must have the right to take loans from the banks where they come from, in addition to where they study," Lu said.

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