In order to implement the “State Council’s Decision on Further Strengthening Rural Education Work”, the Ministry of Education (MOE) decided to carry out the “One College Student per Village Programme” to explore a personnel cultivation model that brings higher educational resources to the villages through modern distance education technology, and helps to promote rural economic and social development.

The “One College Student per Village Programme”, organized and implemented by China Central Radio and Television University (CCRTVU, now the Open University of China, OUC), is supported by the national RTVU system, and uses modern open and distance education to cultivate reliable technology and management personnel for villages, who will later lead the development of the rural economy, production, and technologies.

The “One College Student per Village Programme” mainly recruits village youth who have graduated from high school, vocational high school, technical school or secondary technical school. Junior high school graduates also can register to learn courses.

CCRTVU (OUC) has created 17 programmes under the categories of Planting, Breeding, and Management. In line with the philosophy of open courses, the construction of course platforms forms the basis of programme construction, and the integration of non-degree education and practical skills is emphasized. Based on the completion of the courses, students can receive corresponding certificates, training certificates, course-completion certificates, and junior college higher education diplomas.

Teaching combines television, the Internet, face-to-face tutorial, individual tutoring, and study groups. It offers inexpensive, convenient and practical course learning packages that are adapted to the needs of learners in rural areas and encourage self-directed learning.

The “One College Student per Village Programme” was announced in February 2004 and formally implemented in July 2004. As of 2015, it has enrolled more than 480,000 people.