Overseas students studying in Shanghai for more than six months will have to buy insurance in China next year.
Education officials announced this yesterday adding that even if students had been insured with overseas companies before, now they would have to be insured with mainland companies.
The order came after the Ministry of Education issued a notice requiring universities to ensure all foreign students studying in China had accident and medical insurances.
"Insurance documents will be required as part of the registration material for foreign students applying to study in China," the Shanghai Education Commission said.
Universities are allowed to choose a licensed commercial insurance company as a designated agent and the insurance should entitle beneficiaries to a minimum of 100,000 yuan (US$13,316) in case of death.
Beneficiaries should also be covered for at least 400,000 yuan for medical expenses.
Until now it has been suggestion but not mandatory that students buy insurance in China.
Many overseas students have already paid for insurance before coming to study in China. But because few overseas insurance companies have branches in China, this delays any claims for compensation.
It is also common international practice for students to buy insurance in the country in which they are studying.
"It will save a lot of trouble, as well as facilitate overseas student management, if students can have a group insurance," said Yang Zengguo, vice director of Fudan University's foreign student management office.
(Shanghai Daily October 20, 2007)