In China, where an education was once valued and thought to be a way out of poverty, it is now questionable as a route to economic security. The new economics of China has challenged many traditions, including the benefits of entering a university. While it is characterised as opening doors, particularly for the rural population base to enter an urban world, it is also reordering the thinking about the value of education and causing a generation to wonder if hard work and further study will lead them out of poverty or deepen their economic woes. Students with the highest marks are invited to top-tiered universities with low fees, while the rest of students must pay higher fees, often borrowing money or soliciting neighbourhood support, and don't find jobs at the end of their course of education that pay them a wage above the poverty level.
Following the worldwide broadcast, the series of documentaries are available online for downloading to be used by organisations, schools, and anybody wishing to stimulate debate around poverty.
This one-hour documentary is part of a series of documentaries that form part of the Why Poverty? campaign, a cross-media event taking place in November 2012. Eight award-winning filmmakers were asked to produce this series of documentaries about poverty - with each documentary looking at a different aspect of poverty. The series will be broadcast by 70 broadcasters from around the world.
Why Poverty website, November 20 2012.