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Appraisal of the Chinese certificates of education upon admission as the basis of recognition of the Russian Education obtained by the chinese students

E.V. Shevchenko, M.N. Zhitnikova

Year after year, the increasingly higher number of countries are getting involved in globalization of education. Following the changes in domestic policies in Russia and China over the last decades, our countries also became active participants of this process. The PRC nationals are getting increasingly interested in Russia on the whole and, particularly, in the Russian education system. The Chinese nationals still remember the years of close cooperation with our country, how the Chinese youth studied in the USSR higher institutions in the 1950s, and the high standards of education.

Extensive reforming of the PRC education system, including enforcement of a multi-stage higher education and academic degrees system, paid training at universities and colleges, and, on the other hand, the increasing prestige of education on the whole and higher education in particular over the last few years resulted in considerable growth of the number of Chinese students studying outside China (and favoring the Russian universities among others). The Russian higher institutions, first rejoicing at such tendency, subsequently found themselves unprepared for such an influx of Chinese students. Among other things, this unpreparedness manifested itself in lack of knowledge concerning the Chinese education system and qualifications granted by the higher institutions in PRC. Poor understanding of academic rights, which the Chinese students have at their homeland, resulted in erroneous decisions regarding the admission of the Chinese nationals who in fact have no right to be admitted to certain education programs. These errors are akin to a delayed-action bomb with potential aftereffects capable of manifesting themselves long after the officials responsible for erroneous decisions are retired. However, the universities will carry on, therefore all these effects may become negative flack for the university's image globally, resulting in trouble with its graduate diplomas recognition in other countries.

A foreign student admitted to the Russian higher institution under a specific education program, who is otherwise ineligible for such training in the country of prior education certificate, upon graduation and reception of the Russian diploma, will go back to his homeland or continue traveling in search of a better life. Wherever, he/she will have to submit the Russian certificate of education for recognition by the relevant state. Expert services and foreign qualifications appraisal agencies (which may be governmental, institutional or independent), acting in accordance with internationally recognized standards, shall review the applicant's education records. Qualified experts, sufficiently skilled in recognition of certificates of education and possessing extensive databases, shall analyze the submitted papers to establish the conformity of the received education with qualifications granted in the relevant country. Faults detected in the sequence of mastering the education levels may result in annulment of all qualifications obtained from the date of breach of the compulsory education programs sequence. The defaulting university and, consequently, all its future graduates holding its diplomas are bound to be held in low regard in the country where any such faults are disclosed. According to the experience, prejudice will manifest itself in recognition of graduates of any such defaulting university along the most stringent and time-consuming procedure envisaged by the statutory acts regulating the recognition in this particular country, as well as in non-admission and/or termination of academic and scientific cooperation with the defaulting university.

Chinese certificates of education have their own, state-specific peculiarities, which further complicate the appraisal of such documents. For instance, documents certifying the successful completion of a certain education program at a secondary, elementary and secondary vocational school are indicated by the same word, or rather the same combination of characters meaning 'diploma'. That is why the Russian higher institutions occasionally accept diplomas on the secondary vocational education or on completion of a special supplementary training course at a university college (or a university, which is also possible) as proof of the completion of the first stage of higher education, and on the basis of such diploma the Chinese student may be admitted to the M.A. program or to the senior B.A./specialist courses. This is a flagrant violation of both Chinese and Russian laws on education. Neither PRC, nor any other civilized country will recognize the M.A. degree acquired this way as completion of the second stage of higher education.

This being the case, recognition of the Russian education begins on the stage of selection of foreign applicants.

Source: E.V. Shevchenko, M.N. Zhitnikova. Appraisal of the Chinese Certificates of Education upon Admission as the Basis of Recognition of the Russian Education obtained by the Chinese Students // Problems of Organization of Education of the Foreign Nationals in the Higher Institutions of the Russian Federation: Records of the Meeting of Heads of International Education Services Dedicated to 40 Years Training of Foreign Nationals at Tula State University: Collection of Scientific Works. - Tula: TSU Edition, 2003. - 106 pp. - P. 93-96.


PRC - People's Republic of China.
RF - Russian Federation
USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
TSU - Tula State University.

Notes and reformatting by:
Е.V. Shevchenko,
Head of the International Education Management Department,
Institute of International Educational Programmes,
St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University

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