The early January 2017 event, “2016 Selection of Outstanding Rural College Students from across the OUC System,” was one of a series of selection events searching for “Dream Pursuers.” The Open University of China’s (ou.china.org.cn) China Network sponsored the event.

After 30 days of expert review and voting via a network, 15 candidates were honoured with the title “Outstanding Rural College Student.”

Farmers have made outstanding contributions to China’s reform and opening up, as well as its modernisation and urbanisation. For years, teaching units in the OUC’s educational system have also made outstanding contributions to meeting rural educational and developmental needs by training a new type of professional farmers, facilitating the development of modern agriculture and promoting equal access to education and other social needs. As a result, a number of excellent rural college students have been trained. The selection event was warmly responded to in every unit across the OUC educational system, by employers of graduates, and by the 113 candidates involved. Among them were entrepreneurial pioneers, village Party secretaries leading people to wealthier lives, private entrepreneurs repaying their villages after becoming wealthy, and developers rejuvenating agriculture through science and technology. They all strive for progress, and love learning in pursuit of a more beautiful life. By keeping closely with current development trends, they manifest the hardworking spirit of modern farmers’ dreams and actions, making them leading role models for local people.

China TV News reported on 10 of the 15 “Outstanding Rural College Students” in coverage to its readership.

Wang Qunxiang

Wang Qunxiang, age 76 this year, studied in the junior college Chinese Language and Culture programme at the OUC’s Henan Branch from 2011 to 2014. Though he was engaged in farm work, over the years he formed a habit of teaching himself. His completed notes filled more than a dozen notebooks. After entering the RTVU, he overcame numerous difficulties with inconceivable perseverance, working diligently to grow accustomed to the RTVU’s teaching style utilising information technology. After three years of hard work, Wang Qunxiang successfully passed all of his specialised courses. In the autumn of 2014, Wang Qunxiang obtained the college degree as he had wished.

Ma Xiaomei

Ma Xiaomei is from Pingluo County in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. She began studying at Pingluo RTVU through OUC’s Ningxia Branch in 2015, majoring in the junior college of Rural Administration. After the informatised new rural work began in 2007, Ma Xiaomei became an information assistant at the newly established local rural information station. Though living in the rural, remote northwestern area of China, she quickly caught up with modern society and opened the market for local specialiased products, leading local farmers to greater wealth while improving herself through her work, making extraordinary achievements at an ordinary job.

Hu Quanbo

Hu Quanbo, a native of Hubei Province, enrolled in OUC Wuhan Branch’s undergraduate Civil Engineering programme in spring 2014. He now acts as board chairman of Wuhan Dawushan Tea Industry Co., Ltd. As wealthy as he has become, he never forgot those still living in poverty in his hometown, and returned to start a business that will harness surplus rural labour and lead farmers to greater prosperity alongside him. As a conscientious man, he is always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and disabled. He has been an ardent supporter of people’s basic needs, and has offered both funds and his effort to solve villagers’ drinking water issues. Hu Quanbo never forgot his original intent, and studied diligently in pursuit of his dream of consistent self-improvement.

Liu Jiuhuang

Liu Jiuhuang was born in Wuxi Village, Xinmin Township, Anyi County, Jiangxi Province. She studied at Nanchang Branch’s Anyi County RTVU from 2013 to 2015, and majored in the junior college’s Rural Administration programme. She has been serving as Wuxi Village Party Branch’s secretary since 2010. She has helped to lift the village out of poverty through hard work, science, and technology. To empower and benefit the farmers, her commitment to publicising and extending popular scientific knowledge stands as a typical example of rejuvenating agriculture through science and technology.

Geng Liang

Geng Liang, from Suzhou County in Anhui Province, graduated from the Mechanical and Electronic Engineering undergraduate programme at the OUC’s Shanghai Branch in 2015. He now works as a workshop manager in Yanke (Shanghai) Valve Industry Co., Ltd. Born to an impoverished farming family, Geng Liang couldn’t go on to study at university after finishing senior high school. However, he never gave up on his ideals and the pursuit of knowledge. He diligently continued learning and exercised sound judgment at work. He worked hard and obtained a vocational certificate as a CNC technician, and began studying at the Shanghai Open University (OU) in 2012. Geng Liang’s commitment to learning and his optimistic spirit set a good example for his classmates. In 2015, he was honoured with a second-class scholarship to Shanghai OU. He was asked, as “An Outstanding Student Representative,” to give a speech at each term’s opening ceremony.