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Special notes for studying in China

Updated: Dec 22, 2017 english.legalinfo.gov.cn Print

Language requirements and compulsory courses

Chinese and profile of China are compulsory courses for international students receiving education for academic qualifications; political theory is the compulsory course for international students majoring in philosophy, political science and economics and international students of other majors can apply for exemption from taking this course.

Chinese language is the basic instruction language used in the education of international students in institutions of higher education. Institutions of higher education shall provide necessary Chinese language training program for the international students whose Chinese proficiency level doesn't meet the requirements of course learning.

Institutions of higher education can offer courses in a foreign language including English for international students if possible. The international students that use a foreign language to receive education for academic qualifications shall write the abstract of graduation thesis in Chinese.

Rights and obligations of international students

The rights enjoyed by international students include the rights to:

(1) participate in the activities arranged in education plan of the university and use the education resources provided by the university;

(2) participate in community service, take part-time job, organize and join in student societies on campus and engage in sports and entertainment; 

(3) apply for scholarships, grants and student loans;

(4) get a fair evaluation in terms of moral character, academic achievement and other aspects, and obtain corresponding diplomas and degree certificates after completing the course stipulated by the university;

(5) have objections to the sanction or punishment imposed by the university, make complaint to the university and education administrative departments; make complaint or bring a lawsuit if their legitimate rights and interests are infringed by the university or faculty;

(6) other rights stipulated by laws and regulations.

Obligations of international students

International students should fulfill the following obligations: (1) to comply with the Constitution, laws, and regulations; (2) to comply with university rules; (3) to study hard and complete the required courses; (4) to pay tuition fee and relevant expenses, and fulfill the corresponding obligations concerning obtaining student loans and grants; (5) to comply with student code of conduct, respect teachers, and develop good moral character and habits; and (6) other obligations stipulated by laws and regulations.

Comply with university rules

International students should consciously abide by code of conduct and university rules to create and maintain civilized, clean, beautiful, and safe learning and living environment.

International students shall not engage in the activities violating public security regulations such as alcohol abuse, fights, gambling, drug abuse, dissemination, copying and sale of illegal publications and audio-visual products, illegal pyramid schemes, or get involved in cult and feudal superstitious activities, or engage in the activities that may undermine the proper image of international students or social morality.

International student groups should act in line with the Constitution, laws, regulations, and university rules and accept the leadership and administration of universities. They shall not disrupt the normal teaching order and order of life of universities when engaging in extracurricular activities.

When using computer networks, international students shall follow the relevant provisions of the Chinese government and universities on network use and refrain from logging on to illegal websites and spreading harmful information.

International students shall abide by the university rules regarding student accommodation administration.

Properly use public facilities of the university 

Public service departments such as university information centers and libraries will provide international students with the same studying conditions and services as that for Chinese students. If international students want to use other facilities or obtain additional information beyond the teaching plan, they need to submit an application for approval by the university in accordance with the relevant regulations and procedures.

Engage in extracurricular activities properly 

In engaging in extracurricular activities, international students shall abide by Chinese laws, regulations, university rules and discipline, and respect the social morality and customs in China.

Institutions of higher education generally don't organize international students to engage in political activities, but can organize international students to voluntarily engage in activities such as public services. Institutions of higher education allow and encourage international students to participate in sports and entertainment activities organized by students' union on campus. International students can also voluntarily participate in the celebration of major festivals held in China. In the cities or regions where international students live in a compact community, relevant departments and institutions of higher education will hold meaningful recreational activities for international students.

Approved by institutions of higher education, international students can form fellowships on campus and engage in activities in line with Chinese laws and regulations subject to the leadership and administration of institutions of higher education. To set up inter-university and inter-regional organizations, international students shall apply to the competent Chinese authorities.

Institutions of higher education respect national customs and religious beliefs of international students, but do not provide a place for religious ceremonies. Activities such as doing missionary work or religious gatherings are prohibited on campus.

Approved by institutions of higher education, international students can engage in activities to celebrate major traditional festivals of their home countries within the location and scope specified by institutions of higher education, but no words or deeds are supposed to attack other countries or go against public morals.

Reward and punishment of international students

Institutions of higher education, relevant departments of provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) and the State will give recognition and reward to the international students who have all-round development in moral, intellectual, physical, and aesthetic aspects or have outstanding performance in terms of ethics, academic achievement, scientific and technological innovation, exercise and social services.

Recognition and rewards of international students can take the forms of an honorary title and scholarships, with appropriate moral encouragement or material reward.

International students who violate laws, rules and disciplines will be given criticism or disciplinary sanctions by the university.

Disciplinary sanctions include (1) a warning; (2) a serious warning; (3) a record of a demerit; (4) being kept in university but placed under surveillance; and (5) expulsion from the university.

International students can be expelled from the university under one of the following circumstances: (1) violating the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, opposing the Four Foundational Principles, undermining stability and unity and disrupting social order; (2) violating state law and constituting a criminal offense; (3) violating public security regulations and being punished; (4) surrogate exam-taking, organizing cheating on exam, using communication devices or engaging in other serious misconduct in cheating; (5) plagiarizing and coping others' research achievement in cases of gross violation; (6) violating university rules, seriously disrupting the teaching order, order of life and public order of the university, infringing the legitimate rights and interests of other individuals and organizations, and causing serious consequences; and (7) being subject to disciplinary sanction for violating university rules repeatedly and refusing to mend one's ways despite repeated education.

The complaint of the sanction imposed by the university

Before making the decision to impose a sanction on an international student, the university shall listen to the statements and arguments by the international student or his agent and issue a written decision on sanction to be delivered to the international student and notify him of his right to make a complaint and the complaint deadline.

Where an international student has a problem with the decision on sanction, he can submit a written complaint to Student Complaint Board of the university within five working days after receiving the written decision. Student Complaint Board will have a review of the complaint submitted by the student and make a review conclusion and notify the complainant of it within 15 working days after receiving the written complaint. If it's necessary to change the original decision on sanction, Student Complaint Board will submit it to the university to be re-reviewed and re-decided.

Where an international student has a problem with the decision on the review, he can submit a written complaint to the administrative department of education at provincial level in the region where the university is located within 15 working days after receiving the written decision on the review.

The administrative department of education at provincial level shall handle the complaint and make a reply within 30 working days after receiving the written complaint of the international student.

From the date of receiving the decision on the sanction or decision on the review, if the student fails to make a complaint before the complaint deadline, the university or the administrative department of education at provincial level will not accept his complaint any more.

The students expelled from university are issued a certificate of learning by the university. The students shall leave the university within the time limit specified by the university. The written decision on expulsion shall be reported for record to the administrative department of education at provincial level in the region where the university is located. The materials of rewards and sanctions of international students will be included by the university in the university's archives and the files of the concerned students.

Change the specialty and transfer to other institutions of higher education

After the admission, international students granted a Chinese Government Scholarship shall pursue the study in the specialty specified in the admission notice issued by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China without changing the specialty. If an international student requests to change his specialty, he shall apply to the institution of higher education by himself, and then the embassy of his home country in China will make the request for him to the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, which will decide whether to approve the change of the specialty or not.

International students studying in China at their own expenses can change their specialty in accordance with the relevant regulations of Dean's Office of the institutions of higher education.

An international student is not allowed to change the specialty under one of the following circumstances: (1) the international student does not meet the requirements of the intended specialty, or the intended specialty disagrees with accepting him; (2) the international student's specialty is explicitly restricted upon admission; and (3) the international student has the duration of study beyond the time specified by the institution of higher education for the change of specialty.

International students shall generally complete their studies in the host institution of higher education. If an international student is unable to continue his study in the host institution because of illness or special difficulties, he can apply for being transferred to another institution.

An international student is not allowed to be transferred to other institutions of higher education under one of the following circumstances: (1) it has been less than one semester after the admission; (2) the international student shall be expelled; and (3) other unwarranted circumstances.

Suspension and dropping out of school

International students can complete their studies in phases. The maximum length of schooling (including suspension) shall be prescribed by the institution of higher education. The international students that apply for suspension or are required by the institution of higher education to have suspension can suspend their schooling upon approval by the institution of higher education. The time and length of suspension is prescribed by the institution of higher education.

During the suspension, international students are not allowed to seek employment or engage in other activities unrelated to recuperation in China, or engage in any activities violating Chinese laws and university rules. Otherwise, their qualifications for resuming study will be revoked. The international students shall apply to the institution of higher education for resuming study with relevant documents a month ahead of the expiration of the suspension and can't resume study unless being approved by the institution of higher education after the review. The students that suspend schooling due to illness shall take valid medical certificates issued by the hospitals designated by the institution of higher education or equivalent hospitals which can prove their recovery to be reviewed by the institution of higher education when applying for resuming study.

The international students who suspend schooling shall not apply to be admitted to other institutions of higher education and the institution of higher education shall not go through transfer formalities for them.

International students shall drop out of school under one of the following circumstances: (1) their academic achievement doesn't meet the requirements of the university or they haven't completed their courses within the time specified by the university (including suspension); (2) upon the expiration of suspension, they haven't applied for resuming study within the time limit specified by the university or their application is not approved after the review; (3) they are suffering from a disease or accident disability which disable them from continuing their study in the university according to the diagnosis by the hospital designated by the university; (4) they have left the campus and haven't participated in the teaching activities specified by the university for two consecutive weeks; (5) they fail to go through the registration formalities at the university beyond the prescribed time without good reasons; and (6) they apply for dropping out of school themselves.

The decision on international students' dropping out of school is determined by the president meeting. The university shall issue a written decision on their dropping out of school and deliver it to the international students dropping out of school, and meanwhile report it for the record to education administrative departments at the provincial level of the region where the university is located and the Ministry of Education as well.

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