Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry to en­hance for­eign stu­dent man­age­ment amid con­tro­versy

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Leng Shumei and Liu Caiyu

China’s top ed­u­ca­tion author­ity vowed to en­hance man­age­ment of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to im­prove the teach­ing qual­ity amid con­tro­versy over the ben­e­fits en­joyed by some in­ter­na­tional stu­dents on Chi­nese cam­puses.

Uni­ver­si­ties should brief in­ter­na­tional stu­dents on Chi­nese reg­u­la­tions and laws, cam­pus dis­ci­pline and safety rules, se­ri­ously pun­ish those who vi­o­late the rules and not tol­er­ate those sus­pected of com­mit­ting crimes, said the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) in a state­ment on its web­site on Satur­day.

Uni­ver­si­ties and ed­u­ca­tional ad­min­is­tra­tion de­part­ments at all lev­els are re­quired to step up ef­forts to reg­u­late the man­age­ment of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents and of­fer ed­u­ca­tion and test as­sess­ment to Chi­nese stu­dents with the same stan­dard.

The min­istry would es­tab­lish a man­age­ment sys­tem for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. Lo­cal gov­ern­ments should en­hance their ac­count­abil­ity sys­tems and crack down on il­le­gal be­hav­ior.

China has signed deals with other coun­tries of­fer­ing schol­ar­ships to those who con­duct sci­en­tific re­search, which has sparked skep­ti­cism in Chi­nese me­dia, with some in­ter­net users com­plain­ing that for­eign stu­dents are hav­ing money lav­ished on them.

The MOE said that funds are di­rectly al­lo­cated to col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, most of which is spent on train­ing and manag­ing over­seas stu­dents in China.

Liv­ing ex­penses are also dis­trib­uted to stu­dents granted schol­ar­ships, the min­istry noted.

The state­ment came as a re­sponse to a se­ries of neg­a­tive me­dia re­ports tar­get­ing for­eign stu­dents for their per­ceived ex­tra ben­e­fits at Chi­nese col­leges, which was widely picked up on so­cial me­dia.

The prob­lem is “ram­pant,” Chu Zhao­hui, a re­search fel­low at the Bei­jing­based Na­tional In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion Sciences, told the Global Times.

Some Chi­nese col­leges over­look the qual­ity of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents they en­roll to boost their num­bers in the col­leges in or­der to get more gov­ern­ment fund­ing, Chu said.

A to­tal 63,000 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents were granted Chi­nese gov­ern­ment schol­ar­ships in 2018. In the same year, China re­ceived 492,000 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from 196 coun­tries and re­gions at 1,004 uni­ver­si­ties and re­search in­sti­tutes, re­ports said.

Some col­leges in Beijing do not re­quire en­trance ex­am­i­na­tions for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, Chu noted. “In­ter­na­tional stu­dents can eas­ily en­ter these col­leges as long as they ap­ply and regis­ter.”

The min­istry said that it pun­ished 18 uni­ver­si­ties for ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in in­ter­na­tional stu­dent ad­mis­sions, visa ap­pli­ca­tions and on-cam­pus man­age­ment, and sus­pended the qual­i­fi­ca­tions of 16 such in­sti­tu­tions for ac­cept­ing for­eign stu­dents in 2018.

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