The Ministry of Education of China recently stated that it will restore the regulations on non-degree accreditation of cross-border online courses, cancel the special practice of accreditation of foreign (overseas) degree certificates and higher education diplomas obtained through cross-border distance learning during the epidemic, and Students are warned to return to school for offline learning in the first semester of 2023 as soon as possible. However, this has brought difficulties to many students who need to temporarily arrange visa applications, order air tickets, and book dormitories or residences. They are caught off guard and in a hurry.
The Overseas Education Service Center of the Ministry of Education of China, which is responsible for the certification of overseas academic diplomas, stated on January 28 that “diplomas and certificates awarded by cross-border online learning in the spring semester of 2023 (autumn semester in the southern hemisphere) and later will not be certified.” “And regardless of whether it is a country or institution that has started school or has not yet started school, students should return to school as soon as possible.”
The Ministry of Education’s announcement also stated that after the announcement, diplomas and certificates awarded in the spring semester of 2023 (autumn semester in the southern hemisphere) and later still using cross-border online learning (including new admissions and continuing studies) will not be certified.
However, some foreign media reported that since most universities in the northern hemisphere have already started the spring semester, and universities in the southern hemisphere are about to start the autumn semester after the summer vacation, the time for Chinese students to return to school for offline learning is very urgent. Difficulties will be encountered in arranging visas, travel and booking accommodation.
Due to the concern and dissatisfaction of many overseas students, the Overseas Education Service Center of the Ministry of Education clarified some doubts on January 29. For the inability to change the online and offline learning methods, no offline classes, and the upcoming or already started school of this semester, apply for visas, If the time for booking air tickets and accommodation is too tight, it is required to keep the relevant certification materials and submit them together when applying for certification, and it is required to return to school on time for the next semester.
, which is in the southern hemisphere, is one of the main destination countries for Chinese students, and the autumn semester of most universities in Australia is about to start in three weeks. Therefore, the announcement by the Service Center for Overseas Studies of the Ministry of Education of China will affect Australia more. of Chinese students studying abroad.
Australia’s education sector had strong ties to China before the COVID-19 outbreak, with about 150,000 Chinese students enrolled at Australian universities, generating A$39 billion ($27.7 billion), according to Reuters. ) economic benefits. Restrictions after the outbreak and tensions in diplomatic relations between the two countries have led to the return of many Chinese students, and there are still at least 40,000 Chinese students who have yet to return to Australia.
According to the report, Australian Minister of Education Jason Clare (Jason Clare) welcomed a large number of Chinese students returning to Australia to study offline in a statement on Monday (January 30), emphasizing that he will work with the Minister of the Interior to assist all countries. The University resolves any short-term logistical issues.
Clare said the decision could pose short-term logistical issues, which he would work with the university and the home secretary to resolve. He said, “We have seen Chinese students return to Australia, about 3,500 have arrived so far this month. I know many universities are preparing for Chinese students to come back and study.”
Phil Huo, chief executive of the Australian International Education Association Ni Wood (Phil Honeywood) said many of the 40,000 Chinese students studying abroad would make hasty arrangements to return to Australia.
He said, “We expect that as we speak, many Chinese students will be scrambling to fly to Australia. However, we expect that some people will delay their applications and these students will not be able to come back in time.” The
report stated that the University of Sydney ( The University of Sydney expects the “vast majority” of students to return to campus when term begins at the end of February, but will arrange remote courses for those overseas students who cannot return in time. The school plans to phase out distance learning later this year.
Sudden actions angered foreign students
Reuters stated that the sudden decision of the Chinese Ministry of Education sparked the anger of many Chinese students studying abroad. A student left a message on Weibo, saying, “I only have 15 days to leave school, no visa, no air ticket, no accommodation. Such a short notice, do you want us all to sleep on the street?”
According to another report by the British Guardian , many Chinese students expressed their dissatisfaction and worries on Weibo about the sudden announcement and the possible inability to obtain visas and secure accommodation in time. Some students complained, “It’s only a few days before the school starts, are you serious? They don’t treat foreign students as human beings.”
In addition, some foreign students said on Weibo that they will graduate in May this year and start preparing now Going abroad may not have received a visa until graduation. Some people also complained, “Is it because I don’t want to go? I want to go! According to the plan, I will go in the second half of the year. Now I don’t have a visa, I can’t afford to rent a house, and the courses are all registered. Let’s think about the objective situation.” . Some international students who could not find accommodation asked, “Shouldn’t this kind of news be notified at least half a year in advance? Does the embassy provide accommodation?” The
Australian media quoted the Group of Eight, which recruits nearly three-quarters of Chinese students in Australia ( The Group of Eight chief executive Vicki Thomson (Vicki Thomson) said that prospective graduates who have persisted in their studies throughout the epidemic may now need to return to Australia urgently. It is almost a task to secure accommodation and obtain a visa within a few weeks. a task that can not be done. She said she was currently working with universities and the Home Office, which issues student visas, on the matter.
However, the Group of Eight also warned that China’s decision leaves little time for international students to plan to return to school before the start of the first term, which some schools fear may deter many students from deciding to miss a term.
This decision by the Ministry of Education of China is like the sudden announcement by the authorities on December 7 last year that the often cruel “clearing” epidemic prevention and control was lifted without any preparation or notice. boiling.
China’s epidemic control has been loosened, causing the epidemic to rush like a tsunami, sweeping across the country’s large and small cities. Hospitals were overcrowded and overwhelmed, and related drugs such as antipyretics and cold medicines on the market were sold out. There are so many corpses in crematoriums and funeral parlors that there is nowhere to put them, and it takes ten days or two weeks to be cremated. In some places, corpses packed in yellow body bags are piled up in temporary containers. The cost of cremation has soared from the usual several thousand yuan, and in some places even hundreds of thousands of yuan have been sold.
Beijing wants to ease tensions with Australia
In recent years, especially since April 2020, the former Australian Prime Minister Morrison appealed to the international community on the issue of the origin of the new crown virus, demanding that China, the origin of the pandemic that has ravaged the world, A furious Beijing retaliated against Australia after Wuhan launched an independent investigation, leading to a general deterioration in relations between the two countries.
Beijing has imposed multifaceted sanctions on Australia, comprehensively boycotting Australian exports to China, such as beef, seafood, coal, barley, wine, timber, and cotton, with a total value of up to US$25 billion.
In addition, Beijing cut off high-level phone calls and other channels of communication between the two countries, leaving the two governments unable to deal with the bilateral emergency that had arisen. The Beijing government also prevents Chinese students from studying in Australia, creates rumors that Australia’s security is not good, and discourages Chinese tourists from traveling to Australia.
However, since Albanese of the Labor Party won the election as prime minister in May 2022, tensions between China and Australia have thawed somewhat.
On November 15 last year, Australian Prime Minister Albanese and Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping met for the first time in Bali, Indonesia. Xi Jinping said that in the past few years, China-Australia relations have encountered difficulties. There has never been a fundamental conflict of interest between China and Australia. What has been the traditional friendship between the two peoples and the highly complementary economic structure. The two sides should sum up experience and lessons, and discuss how to push bilateral relations back on the right track and move forward sustainably.
Last December, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong visited Beijing to launch a new round of dialogue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on diplomatic and strategic issues, achieving a breakthrough in tense relations between the two countries. Both sides have expressed a willingness to improve relations.