Bossa responds to Ministry of Education plans

The Beijing Overseas Service Industry Association (Bossa) has issued a statement in response to the Ministry of Education's recent 2016-2020 five-year plan, calling for greater focus on self-funded study abroad.

Bossa President, Peng Sang, said, "The regulation documents issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE) showed the government's positive focus on education, similar to the previous documents. However, there is no mention of self-funded overseas study, nor a structure of a potential future plan."


He said that the only mention of overseas study in the plan related to government-funded scholarships, but he said this covered around 20,000 students per year, a tiny percentage of the half a million students that choose to study abroad annually.


"In the past decade, there are only a few policy documents issued by the Ministry of Education that give actual support to the self-funded study travel industry in detail, which puts us, as an industry organisation, in the spotlight of regulating the industry ourselves.


"We are carrying the responsibilities of regulating, standardising and creating accreditation standards for the industry, in order to help agencies provide better quality services to students."


Elsewhere, the MoE document outlined intentions to promote education in the country for international students via a Study in China brand and to improve the quality of its offer and services. China was featured in a special StudyTravel Magazine Tertiary Focus article earlier this year.


The document also opens up the potential for greater academic and research collaboration and strategic alliances between Chinese and overseas institutions, while Chinese universities are encouraged to explore the establishment of overseas branch campuses.


The MoE also announces plans to expand the Silk Road scholarship programme, which was credited earlier in the year with boosting international student recruitment in markets such as India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.



By Matthew Knott

News Editor