Local governments are to crack down on organizations that illegally organize self-funded overseas study, under a joint circular issued on Monday by three ministries.
Studying abroad has been a dream for millions of Chinese students; however, the activities of illegal intermediaries have disrupted the market.
Some legal intermediate institutions have also issued misleading advertisements and dealt with illicit projects for overseas study in addition to their permitted activities.
The circular issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, stressed that intermediary institutions for overseas study must have a certificate issued by the MOE and a license from the local departments of industry and commerce administration.
According to the circular, foreign institutions that cooperate with Chinese intermediary institutions must have a certificate recognized by the education departments in their home countries as well as by the education offices of Chinese embassies or consulates in such countries.
Advertisements for intermediary services for overseas study should not be issued before they are approved by the local departments of industry and commerce administration.
There are now 246 officially recognized intermediary institutions for self-funded overseas study on the Chinese mainland.
(China Daily November 27, 2002)