Studying in China? Law, culture, language classes are now compulsory

Foreign students at Chinese colleges and universities will also be overseen by special ‘instructors’

Courtesy of South China Morning Post

Foreign students pursuing higher education diplomas in China will have to take compulsory courses in Chinese and about the country’s general conditions and culture starting from next month, the government announced on Monday.

The new regulations – drawn up by the ministries of education, foreign affairs and public security – require universities and colleges to teach international students about China’s laws and regulations, plus its institutions and traditional Chinese culture and customs.

They also require international students majoring in philosophy and politics to take compulsory political theories courses, but no details were given about which systems would be taught.

The regulations state they were made to “regulate schools’ admission, the cultivation and management of international students and for the convenience of international students studying in schools in China”.

More than 442,000 international students were studying in China last year, an increase of 11 per cent on 2015, according to the Ministry of Education. More than 70,000 came from South Korea, followed by the United States, Thailand, Pakistan and India.

The regulations ban any form of religious activities on campus, such as preaching or religious gatherings. Schools should respect the customs and religious beliefs of foreign students, but are not allowed to provide any venue for their religious activities.

International students who do not live in school dormitories are required to register their address with police in the neighborhood.

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