The Ministry of Education announced on Jan 26 that it has updated its degree recognition system, making the process less time-consuming and cheaper.
The system will improve employers’ ability to recognize the education qualifications of Chinese students abroad who are seeking jobs back in China.
Under the new system, launched on Jan 22, students do not have to visit the designated agencies to accredit overseas qualifications or pay registered translation companies for a copy of the certificate in Chinese.
All of the materials, even nontranslated ones, can be submitted online to the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange under the Education Ministry, and notice of recognition will be delivered to the applicants.
The simplified system also cuts the approval time from more than a month to 20 working days on average, according to Che Weimin, deputy director of the center.
For those who studied in the United States or the United Kingdom, the procedure will be even shorter－fewer than 10 working days. And for those who studied in Australia, New Zealand, France or Japan, it will take no more than 15 working days.
“I tried the new system (during a trial phase) on Jan 8. Different from the old one that I heard about from my schoolmates, it is very convenient and efficient and only took eight working days for getting my recognition,” said Xu Xiaoying, who got her doctoral degree at University of St. Thomas in the United States in May last year.
For top talent or those who have emergency needs, the center will provide a quick pass to shorten the time period, according to Che.
Che said the recognition now only costs 360 yuan ($57), and the center will adjust the price soon, which is expected to make it even cheaper.
The ministry started to provide recognition service for overseas Chinese students in 1991. By the end of last year, more than 1.16 million students have had education qualifications, issued in 125 countries and regions, recognized by the center.
The recognition system now covers all countries and regions in the world.
“Since the 1990s, more overseas Chinese students have come back to China, but some encountered difficulties in providing recognition of their education qualifications, due to the differences of the qualification systems at home and abroad,” said Cheng Jiacai, deputy Party secretary of the center.
In the years since the center provided the recognition service, some applicants have also been found to provide fake or illegal qualifications, he said.
Cheng said the center will soon introduce a credit system that will include a blacklist of those who have provided fake education qualifications. The list will be available to the public.