What We Do

Student Pilot Program
The Needs of University Students with Rural Backgrounds

The Chinese government’s central-schooling policy has moved middle schools to county-level towns, and primary schools to larger villages. Generally, when children leave rural primary schools, they need to travel to the towns for middle school, and cities for university. Coming from simple rural backgrounds, students often lack opportunities to hone problem-solving or interpersonal skills. They are therefore often less competitive compare to students growing up in cities. As a result, university students with rural backgrounds cannot apply what they have learnt, and may found themselves fall victim to exploitation or fraud.

Furthermore, in order to help their families financially, most rural students choose to work in cities after graduation. Staying at the university or in the city for a long period, it often leads to a deep sense of disconnection from village life, and lack the eagerness or skills to work in the agricultural sector. They find it hard to re-adapt to rural life. More do not want their children to be raised in the rural. However, they are yet to adapt to the urban society, being trapped between the gap.

Therefore, we encourage rural high school bursary students to pick a topic related to their home, start researching and write a report. They can then understand their growing environment and develop a sense of belonging. The topic is chosen by student, which ranges from culture and custom, infrastructure, economic activities to daily needs. We hope that through the research, they would know more about their home.


Content of the Scheme

With the assistance of the Shih Wing Ching Foundation, we have been carrying out the Rural Development Training Scheme since the 2011-12 academic year. The scheme provides training for youngsters willing to help in rural development. The scheme includes:

Study reports: to increase students’ understanding of the economic and cultural issues in their places of birth, as well as their sense of belonging to rural localities; and to encourage them to learn practical skills, so that they can return to the countryside, apply their expertise, improve rural living conditions and become role models for villagers and the community.

City exchange groups: to organise students to go on exchange visits to Guangzhou. Encourage rural teachers and students to communicate with local people, get an overall view of city life and how the city and countryside interact in their economies and cultures, and let them reflect upon the best course of development for rural areas. They will also share their experiences of the exchange with other rural students.

Summer internships: In the summer vacation each year, we provide opportunities to students on our bursary scheme to carry out internships in our mainland China office. As well as learning skills in how to plan and execute projects, solve problems and deal with people, it also encourages them to feed back to their rural communities to pass on our spirit of kindness.

2018 interns in IRD 2018 interns in IRD
2019 interns in IRD 2019 interns in IRD


From the academic year 2018-2019, with the generous support from King’s College Alumni (China), we started to help the rural youth who are unqualified for government funding. We support them to complete high school, university, or accredited training and exchange programs. Though born into an underprivileged family, they can still continue to learn and study sustainably. University students in this program will be given an opportunity to visit Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen, to meet their benefactors and do a brief tour there.

Shanghai Exchange Tour 2018 Shanghai Exchange Tour 2018
Shanghai Exchange Tour 2019 Shanghai Exchange Tour 2019