Education ministry to enhance foreign student management amid controversy
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.