Offsite college entrance examination
The "offsite college entrance examination" (异地高考) has become a popular term in China over recent years. Its meaning signifies that children of migrant workers can enjoy the same rights as their urban peers in sitting college entrance exams locally.
China's hukou, the nation's household registration system, used to confine children to attend schools in their native places. A 2003 regulation amended this by allowing migrant workers' children to receive the nine-year compulsory education in the cities where their parents work.
But the country has in recent years faced mounting protests from its migrant workers, whose children under the current policies have to either return to their native places for further schooling or risk dropping out of school if they stay with their parents in the cities.
According to plans published by the Beijing municipal government on Dec. 30, 2012, the capital city will allow migrant workers' children to attend local vocational schools in 2013 and allow them to be matriculated by colleges after graduating from the vocational programs.
Shanghai went one step further, saying in its plans that it will allow migrant children in the city to enter local senior high schools, vocational schools and sit college entrance exams locally starting in 2014.
Guangdong Province set its goal in several steps. It has asked its cities to start recruiting migrant workers' children in local senior high schools in 2014. The province will allow for these children to sit local senior high schools and college entrance exams, as well as compete with their local peers on equal footing in college entrance starting in 2016.
Migrant workers, whose children could benefit from the new plans of the abovementioned three regions, must have residential permits, stable jobs and incomes, and meet other local requirements, according to the plans.
By Dec. 31, 2012, a total of 15 provinces and municipalities had formulated plans to ensure that children of migrant workers can enjoy the same rights as their urban peers in terms of education. The other provinces and municipalities include Heilongjiang, Anhui, Chongqing, Hebei, Hunan, Jilin, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Henan, Yunan, and Hubei. Their plans stipulate that starting in 2013, those children of migrant workers can sit college exams locally.