China Permits International Students to Work While Studying

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Sristy Sharma
Updated on Feb 08, 2022 03:03 PM IST

China has allowed international students who have been enrolled for at least a year to work on- or off-campus for a maximum of eight hours a week. During the summer and winter holidays, the work hours will double to 16 hours per week. 

China Permits International Students to Work While Studying

The Ministry of Education inChinahas granted working rights tointernational students enrolled at degree-granting higher education institutions in the country. This would enable studentsto work on- or off-campus for a maximum of eight hours a week.

The right has been granted to the students who have been enrolled at a university in China for at least oneyear. Working hours are capped at eighthours per week totallingto over 40 hours a month. During the summer and winter holidays, the same will double to 16 hours per week.

Students arerequired to gain approval from the concerned university along with the local Exit and Entry bureau for both work and change in the workplace if any. The approval shall be in the form of an agreement and certificate.

The work-study format is new as international students were not granted working rights earlier, even though they mostly worked late hours part-time in the fields ofEnglish teaching or hospitality. China had limited these activities by limiting visa categories that could open domestic bank accounts in the country.

Also Read:UK Surpasses 600,000 Intl Student Goal 10 Years Before Deadline: HESA Report

Savannah Billman of China Admissionsstated that the available information on the policy is limited due to it being recent. She hasadvised students to consult the International Students Department or Career Department of their respective institutions for proper guidance.

Students haveexpressed concerns that employers will prefer cash-in-hand employment due to approval requirements.

China had aimed at enrolling 500,000 students annually by 2020 as per pre-Covid-19 plans. In 2018, the last year, up till which data is publicly available, a total of492,000 students had studied in the country. The numbers include both degree and non-degree students.

The numbershadbeen increasing steadily over the last 10 years, suggesting that China would have reached its target if the pandemic had not hit.

China has been lagging behind a lot of top study abroad destinations in terms of working hours for international students. International graduates do not have post-studyworkrights and bachelors cannot work in China without havinga minimum of two years of foreign work experience in lieu of a master's degree or higher.The top universities in Chinahave, however, granted exceptions to students.

In 2016, international graduates in Shanghai were allowed to apply for visas to do internships, invest or start their own business. These activities were only doable within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone or the Zhanjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.

This new clear cap is welcome as often the students were unable to figure out their working rights.

Also Read:Canadian Government's Scholarships Worth Over $10,000 for Exchange Students

The Australian Embassy in Beijing stated these reforms as positive signs for international students to undertake part-time jobs and internships. They are hopeful that these efforts would letgraduate students work post graduation.

This reform and some pilot projects undertaken indicate that greater and better reforms are in the pipeline. However,students cannot possibly benefit from these reforms as Chinese borders remain closed even after 2 years since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, despite promises made by the government.

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Source: The PIE News

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