PLA, Tsinghua Launch Joint Education of Student Pilots

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and Beijing-based Tsinghua University will kick off a joint education program for selected student pilots, newly recruited this year among high school graduates.

Students were be selected based on their exam scores and their physical fitness, and then underwent six weeks of training in military administration and a one-week virtual flying course before qualifying for the project, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Air Force.

During the program, pilot students will spend three years studying in Tsinghua and one year in the PLA’s Air Force Aviation University (en) in order to learn aviation theories, parachuting and primary-level flying, according to the statement.

The first batch of students will start the program on Sept. 13.

In addition, the students will enjoy preferential policies when applying for postgraduate study at Tsinghua, said the statement.

Experts believe the program will boost the overall quality of the country’s pilots and attract more talented young people to pursue careers in the Air Force.