The Chinese government has moved to regulate the numbers of universities that enroll foreign students and allow medical courses to be conducted in English. With more and more Indian students looking to China as the new Shangri-La of medical education, the move comes as a rude shock.
The Chinese regulation, issued on July 25, will reduce the number of Chinese universities that can enroll foreign students and teach medicine in English to 30. The Chinese embassy in New Delhi defended the new policy, saying it was to “facilitate the return” of the students to their countries and “make it easier for them to find jobs”.
Over 3,200 Indian students have opted to study in China recently, with the numbers rising in the past two years, government sources said. Of these students, 85 per cent are studying medicine. China is an attractive proposition for students from countries like India because courses and living costs are cheaper compared to those in the West. Also, there is little emphasis on high school marks.
The Chinese felt the need to take this harsh step probably because they felt their educational standards were getting diluted by the influx of foreigners, the sources said.
The Health Ministry will now have to formulate a policy on how to treat students enrolled in universities other than the 30 authorised to take in foreigners and teach in English. The problem is, none of the students have graduated yet.