More than 140,000 foreigners are now studying in China but they have limited opportunities for internships due to lack of relevant regulations, a senior official with the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Tuesday.
"Many foreigners studying in China want to work as interns in Chinese enterprises and companies, and some have even applied to work with government departments," Zhang Xiuqin, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council, told Xinhua. "Their application may receive very different replies according to different companies and organizations, since no regulation has been worked out by the MOE.
"Foreign countries mostly have specific detailed regulations on what kind of part-time work a student can have and how many hours he can work, but we have only one regulation issued in 2000," Zhang acknowledged. The regulation allows foreigners studying in China to attend work-study programs but there are no subsequent rules.
China has drawn an increasing number of overseas students because of its fast economic growth, social stability, and greater international influence, Zhang said.
Statistics from the CSC show that the number of foreigners studying in China reached 140,000 in 2005, including 40,000 from the Republic of Korea, 14,000 from Japan, and 8,000 from the United States. The total had risen by 32 percent from the figure of 1998.
Despite the current difficulty of finding internships, education for foreigners in China was becoming more people-oriented with improved conditions, including accommodation and healthcare, Zhang said. .