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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Expert: Glitter of foreign diploma to fade away (2)

By Huang Chong (China Youth Daily)

10:19, March 10, 2012

Reporter: Cooperation hot in running schools has appeared in recent years between Chinese and foreign countries. What lessons should our universities learn from this?

Qi Lixin: Universities should think about that whether it is a little bit blind hot when carrying out foreign exchanges and cooperation. Many universities take the number of international cooperative universities as their achievements instead of their discipline research activities. In fact, many universities have neglected the cooperation and exchange in the field of basic research when cooperating with foreign schools, but just focus on simple inter-school cooperation and program union. The major purpose of cooperation between universities is profit. Chinese and foreign universities must set correct goal for cooperation, or they may fall into the “profit trap”.

Reporter: What leads the oversea study programs into the “profit trap”?

Qi Lixin: We have an international education information supervision network and all the universities recognized in this network are approved by the Ministry of Education. The United States alone has more than 2,600 colleges and universities as well as 2,800 community colleges, involving in a population of 300 million. It’s a serious and time-consuming work to verify so many colleges and universities around the whole world. Now, much work hasn’t been done yet.

Reporter: The oversea study market grows at a speed of 20 percent per year. What are the main problems?

Qi Lixin: Firstly, oversea study agencies cannot shirk their responsibilities for the prevailing blind studying abroad phenomenon. Many intermediaries ignore investigation because of the purpose of profit; secondly, the service teams of oversea study agencies need to be trained and rectified; and thirdly, parents’ knowledge of oversea education is limited. Parents must firstly think over clearly what they want their children to gain at foreign school, for an inflated reputation or knowledge? Secondly, the living expenses and tuition for studying abroad will be no less than 150,000 yuan per year, then studying abroad for four years will cost at least 600,000 yuan, so parents must make decision after careful consideration on the family’s payment ability; and finally, both parents and students are vulnerable groups. They should consider about the legal risks. When selecting an organization or a program, they should not just take cost into account.

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