More than 1,000 representatives from over 30 universities in Beijing on Monday joined in a ceremony held to mark the start of the military recruitment of college students. Brochures introducing recruitment polices were distributed and students\' questions about the policy were answered in the event, which was jointly organized by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Ministry of Education. Students also had a chance to talk with Liu Yang, China\'s first female astronaut, who took part in the Shenzhou-9 space mission in June last year. MND officials said college students will enjoy advantages related to registration, physical check-ups, admission and arrangements for military recruitment. An online recruitment service run by the MND is ready to receive applications, with recruitment procedures scheduled to begin on Aug. 1, according to a Friday statement issued after a national teleconference on conscription. The previous recruitment period began in October. The change is the first in 23 years. The statement said the new recruitment period, which follows graduation season, will encourage more talented young people to join the military. The Chinese military started recruiting college graduates in 2001.