International students in China's higher education institutions will be required to attend Chinese language and Survey of China as compulsory courses, and selected international students are required to attend political theory courses, starting from the beginning of July.
International students who receive higher education in China are required to take compulsory lessons on Chinese language and Chinese domestic conditions, according to an official statement released on the Ministry of Education website Friday.
The rules require that international students studying philosophy and political science should take compulsory lessons on political theory.
The rule, which will take effect on July 1, aims to "provide convenience for international students, strengthen overseas communication and cooperation and make domestic education more international," read the statement.
"It is reasonable for foreign students to take Chinese lessons if they want to study in China, just like foreign students who study in some Western countries are required to take English lessons," Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times.
"The implementation of the rules depends on the actual situation of the colleges. The rules should be applied in a reasonable and scientific way," Xiong added.
The rule also requires higher education institutions to acquaint international students with Chinese laws, school disciplines and traditional Chinese culture and customs to allow them to adapt to the local environment.
"Having knowledge of important Chinese political theories only widens our horizon as back home we learn about many different political theories. Some I agree with, some I don't", David Fossdalsa, a student from Faroe Islands of Denmark, who is taking a non-degree Chinese language program at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, told the Global Times.
"That being said, I think some foreign students will be unhappy with the change as their goal in China is more to live like an exchange student, party, travel, etc", Fossdalsa said.
The rule also requires Chinese higher education institutions to assign tutors to international students with the ratio not lower than that for Chinese domestic students.