Schemes are already under way to address the education gap between China's urban and rural areas (see Q. Wang Nature 510, 445; 2014). These are improving education opportunities for rural students and supplying them with the best teachers.
For example, over the past ten years, the popular Go West programme has supplied more than 160,000 leading graduates to support the development of poor rural areas. The 17,500 positions provided this year cover several aspects, including teaching (see go.nature.com/lrhb6p; in Chinese). The Postgraduate Group of Volunteers to Support Education recruits teachers for rural regions from China's most prestigious universities, such as the Harbin Institute of Technology, and the non-governmental initiative Project Hope is helping to educate poor students.
More people from underdeveloped regions are enrolling in the country's leading universities, thanks to 185,000 government places allocated to students from these areas this year. And some non-governmental organizations are contributing to educational institutions in deprived countryside areas; these include Our Free Sky, which provides teachers.
These efforts to close the education gap will be complemented by the gathering momentum of rural migration to China's cities (see X. Bai et al. Nature 509, 158–160; 2014).