College stu­dents forced to in­tern at elec­tron­ics fac­tory

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WU YONG in Shenyang wuy­ong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

An univer­sity ac­cused of forc­ing sev­eral hun­dred stu­dents to in­tern at an elec­tron­ics fac­tory made a pub­lic apol­ogy on Fri­day and promised to with­draw all stu­dents from the fac­tory.

“We are very sorry for prob­lems that emerged in the in­tern­ship ac­tiv­ity and the ad­verse so­cial im­pact it has caused. We sin­cerely apol­o­gize to stu­dents, par­ents and the pub­lic,” said the an­nounce­ment from the univer­sity.

The Shenyang Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Univer­sity in Liaon­ing prov­ince has been ac­cused of forc­ing more than 700 sopho­more stu­dents to in­tern at a Fox­conn fac­tory in Yan­tai, Shan­dong prov­ince.

Ne­ti­zens have claimed on Sina Weibo that stu­dents from Shenyang Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Univer­sity are be­ing made to work at Fox­conn, a con­tract elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany whose clients in­clude Ap­ple and Nin­tendo, for three months start­ing July 15.

An im­age of an ex­change on WeChat be­tween a stu­dent and a teacher sur­named Sun sug­gests stu­dents who ob­ject could be de­nied cred­its or even their de­gree cer­tifi­cate.

The orig­i­nal post car­ry­ing the al­le­ga­tions has been viewed over 5 mil­lion times on Sina Weibo.

A ne­ti­zen with the user­name Mose­qingchun who claimed to be one of the in­terns said the food of­fered to the stu­dents was poor while the dor­mi­to­ries had no air con­di­tion­ing.

“I thought the in­tern­ship would be help­ful for my son’s fu­ture, but I feel dis­tressed now,” read a com­ment from a par­ent who posted anony­mously. “I can only com­fort him and hope more peo­ple will learn what has hap­pened.”

Fox­conn could not be con­tacted for com­ment.

Late on Thurs­day, the Liaon­ing provin­cial ed­u­ca­tion author­ity pub­lished a state­ment pro­hibit­ing all schools from or­ga­niz­ing stu­dents for in­tern­ships dur­ing sum­mer va­ca­tions and en­cour­ages stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in so­cial prac­tice or so­cial wel­fare ac­tiv­i­ties.

The state­ment said that work teams will be sent to Shan­dong, as­sist­ing the univer­sity to send the stu­dents back.

The univer­sity said it will not ar­range ac­tiv­i­ties for stu­dents dur­ing the sum­mer va­ca­tion, and pay for their trans­porta­tion ex­penses.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is­sued reg­u­la­tions on vo­ca­tional school in­tern­ships in April that al­low se­condary schools and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tutes to place stu­dents at pub­lic and pri­vate en­ter­prises.

But if the school forced stu­dents into in­tern­ship or put stu­dents in a harm­ful en­vi­ron­ment dur­ing their in­tern­ship, the school would be sus­pected of vi­o­lat­ing the law, said Wang Fei, a lawyer from Liaon­ing Bail­ian Law Firm.

Huang Wen­shu con­trib­uted to this story.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Wang Yi (left), min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs, Li Ji­heng (sec­ond left), Party chief of the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, and diplo­matic en­voys from other coun­tries watch a Mon­go­lian eth­nic mu­sic per­for­mance in Bei­jing on Fri­day. The per­for­mance was part of a pro­mo­tional event for the au­ton­o­mous re­gion or­ga­nized by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

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