English Translation: Q&A on Pandemic and Foreign Online Degrees
Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) of the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Education (MOE)
Q&A on Pandemic Period Policies on Foreign Online Degree Certifications
January 29, 2023
Unofficial English Translation Provided by XL Law & Consulting P.A.
Following the release of the ”Announcement on Adjusting the Special Certification Rules for Cross-Border Distance Diploma Certificates During the Pandemic“; (hereinafter referred to as the “January Announcement”), some international students expressed important concerns. In response to these issues of concern, the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (“CSCSE” or “our Center”) hereby provides the responses below. If you still have any questions, please contact our Center via email@example.com.
1. According to media reports, the CSCSE will no longer provides certification services for cross-border distance learning diplomas. Is this true?
According to relevant national policies, foreign (overseas) degree certificates and higher education diplomas obtained through cross-border distance learning have always not been within the scope of our Center’s certification. After the outbreak of COVID-19, our Center prioritized the health and safety of international students; as such, for those international students who were affected by the pandemic and were forced to choose to take some or all of their courses online, after meeting the degree requirements of the foreign (overseas) universities, our Center allowed their degrees to be certified under normal practices. The recent Announcement simply cancels the special policies that were put in place during the pandemic and restores the original certification rules.
2. What if my school provides online and in-person learning methods in Spring 2023 (Fall 2023 in the southern hemisphere), and I have already chosen online learning and cannot change it this semester?
If the study method in Spring 2023 (Fall 2023 in the southern hemisphere) cannot be changed due to your school’s regulations or policies, you should keep all relevant materials issued by your school and submit them when applying for degree certification so that your degree can be successfully certified. If you have not completed all courses for your degree this semester, please be sure to return to school to take in-person courses next semester.
3. What if my school does not offer in-person courses in Spring 2023 (Fall 2023 in the southern hemisphere)?
Usually, fully online courses that are not delivered in-person are distance courses, and the diploma certificates obtained through studying such courses have always not been within the scope of certification of our Center. If your school does not offer in-person courses in Spring 2023 (Fall 2023 in the southern hemisphere), please contact your school in time to confirm whether the remaining courses can be delivered in-person. If so, please be sure to return to school to take in-person courses next semester; if not, or you will complete the courses this semester, please keep relevant materials issued by your school and submit them when applying for degree certification. Applications for certification will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
4. This semester is about to start or has already started. What should I do if the time to apply for visas, book flights and arrange for accommodation is too tight?
Please do not worry, you can continue to take online classes while you are going through the relevant procedures. In case of failure to obtain a visa in time, cancellation of flights, or difficulty booking accommodation, it is recommended to keep the visa appointment record, the flight cancellation certificate, the responses from places of accommodation and other relevant materials, and submit them when applying for your degree certification, so as to facilitate a successful certification.
5. Spring 2023 (Fall 2023 in the southern hemisphere) is the last semester of my program. Do I still need to go back to school in-person?
If all your courses and research will be completed this semester, it is recommended that you confirm with your school the requirements of your program and complete your study in accordance with your school’s requirements. If the courses cannot be delivered in-person, it is recommended you keep relevant written materials and submit them when applying for your degree certification, so as to facilitate a successful certification.
6. My school’s quota for in-person programs for this semester is full. Can the diploma certificate I obtained from overseas online study still be certified?
If the number of spaces for in-person study for the degree program you are taking this semester is full and you cannot transfer to the in-person program, please provide relevant materials when applying for certification in order to facilitate a successful certification. If you have not completed all courses for your program this semester, please be sure to transfer to the in-person program next semester.
7. I am studying in a Ukrainian/Russian school. Due to the war, it will be dangerous to return to school. Can I continue to study online?
The degree certification of Ukrainian students who are unable to return to school in Spring 2023 will not be affected. The degree certification of Russian students living near the Russian-Ukrainian border who are unable to return to school in Spring 2023 will not be affected.
 Original source in Chinese: https://www.cscse.edu.cn/cscse/sy/tzgg/2023012917442942281/index.html  As used in this translation, “international students” refer to students (likely of Chinese nationality) who study abroad outside of China.