Chinese universities to enroll more ethnic minority students

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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese universities have agreed to expand annual enrollments of ethnic minority students from the tension-fraught western region of Xinjiang to 10,000 by 2020, up from the current school year's 6,800.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that the plans were drawn up this weekend at an education conference organized by the education ministry and a central commission on ethnic affairs.

Xinhua said 323 colleges and universities signed an agreement to take in more students from Xinjiang, home to the Muslim minority of Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs).

Ethnic conflicts have left hundreds of people dead in and outside Xinjiang in the past few years.

While Beijing vows to crack down on the violence, it promises to give local residents more educational and employment opportunities.

State media said the educational program would not only train talent from Xinjiang but also better integrate minority students with the majority Han people.

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