China's first batch of female fighter pilots with double degrees

CHINA - 16 female combat pilots received their bachelor's degrees in military science on June 25, 2013, becoming China's first batch of female fighter pilots to hold dual degrees.

According to a report on China Women, the pilots completed their courses at a flight academy in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern China's Hebei Province. They received engineering degrees last year.

In 2008, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) selected 33 women from more than 150,000 high school graduates, sending them for four years of study at the Aviation University of Air Force and an additional year at flight academies. The qualified students receive a dual degree at the end.

China has trained nearly 500 female pilots since women were first permitted to enrol in flight schools in 1951, with the majority of them piloting cargo transport planes and engaging in navigation, communication and flight testing.

The PLA Air Force has announced that China will further train female pilots to fly a variety of planes, including bombers, early-warning aircraft and tanker aircraft.