In a statement to China Daily, the MoE said the government has been introducing a number of exploratory changes that would allow international students in Beijing and Shanghai to take part-time jobs or internships off campus – as long as they obtain approval from their academic institutions and the administrative authorities.
“New regulations will help our students transform theory into practice”
The announcement comes as part of a series of positive policy changes that are seeing China well on its way to its target of hosting 500,000 international students by 2020.
Traditionally, international students have been unable to work in China during their studies, and foreign citizens have been unable to get a visa to work in China without at least two years of post-study work experience overseas, making it near impossible for international students to transition to a working visa at the completion of their studies.
But in 2016, Shanghai eased its policies to allow international students of Chinese universities to start businesses at the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone and Shanghai Free Trade Zone during their studies.
Then last year, the government introduced a program for international students with postgraduate degrees or who had attended “well-known” universities to obtain Chinese work permits after graduation.
Director of International Affairs at The Sino-British College in Shanghai, Iris Yuan, described the announcement as “great news” for international students in China and that it will make China a much more attractive destination for studying abroad.
“The new policy will definitely have a great impact on our college’s future recruitment. Most of our international students are keen to have some working experience here… however, with the previous regulations, only a small number of students could achieve that,” Yuan told The PIE News.
“Most of our degrees at Sino-British College are designed with employers, and with such practical courses, I truly believe that the new regulations will help our students transform theory into practice and gain great experience while studying here.”