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Intl education-exchange firms may be banned

(China Daily)

09:29, October 31, 2012

New regulations are likely to ban international agencies from providing education-exchange services in China, according to the Ministry of Education.

A recently published draft regulation allows provincial-level educational authorities to approve or reject qualifications of intermediary agencies, bans foreign agencies entering the market and strengthens supervision of the agencies.

The draft also requires agencies to build an emergency fund, supervised by educational authorities, so that clients can be refunded when the intermediary agencies cannot provide services.

The ministry has published the draft regulation on its website and is soliciting opinion at [email protected] until Nov 5.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the ministry said some unqualified agencies provide advisory services to people wishing to study abroad, and some help clients forge materials required for applications or cheat clients out of money.

In July, New Zealand immigration officials found 279 applications submitted by Chinese students contained some forms of fraud, and intermediary agencies were to blame for the fake materials.

"I think the ministry simply cut foreign agencies out without good reason. If foreign agencies can forge materials or cheat clients of money, domestic agencies can do that too," said Chen Naibo, who works for an intermediary agency based in the United States. Chen declined to give the name of his company.

Chen's company mainly provides consultant services to Chinese students who plan to attend high schools in the US.

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