China Cracks Down on Subpar English-Language Medical Programs for Foreigners

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Aug 8 19:00:25 UTC 2007

August 7, 2007
China Cracks Down on Subpar English-Language Medical Programs for Foreigners

Beijing — China's Ministry of Education will limit the number of
universities that offer English-language medical programs for foreign
students, in response to questions about the quality of the training.
According to a Chinese-language notice posted on the ministry's Web
site last month, the ministry has created a special committee to
review English-language medical programs beginning in the 2007-8
academic year. Just 30 universities around China were approved this
year to accept students for medical training. Some 20 other
universities were not approved and will not be allowed to offer the

The ministry said that Chinese universities had rapidly expanded their
English-language medical programs for foreign students to meet a
rising demand, but that the fast growth had resulted in problems that
hurt the reputation of China's higher-education sector.
"Some universities have only been concerned about the economic benefit
these foreign students bring, blindly expanding the scope of their
programs," said the ministry's statement. "Some universities lack
sufficient English teachers and resources, and the quality of teaching
is not high. A small number have lowered the requirements for
accepting students."

Indian students, who are attracted by China's low-cost universities,
make up most enrollments in the medical programs. Press Trust India
reported last week that the Chinese ministry's announcement had been
brought about by complaints from unhappy Indian students. It said the
new policy would affect hundreds of Indian students who were enrolled
in medical programs here. —Paul Mooney
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