Notice of Undergraduate Foundation Program for International Students under Chinese Government Scholarship Program

Updated: Nov 19, 2017 Print

Jiaowailai [2009] No.20

To Education Departments (or Education Commissions) of Provinces,  Autonomous Regions, and Municipalities directly under the Central  Government, the Education Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and  Construction Corps, and Education Sections of other Departments  concerned, higher education institutions concerned,

In order to ensure the education quality of international  undergraduate students and to improve the effect of Chinese Government  Scholarship Program, based on previous pilot projects, and in accordance  with the Regulations over Admission of International Students of Higher  Education Institutions (hereinafter referred to as the RAIS), the  Ministry of Education of China (hereinafter referred to as MOE) decides  to launch the Foundation Program since September 1st, 2009 for new  international undergraduate students awarded with Chinese Government  Scholarships before they begin their disciplinary courses. The specific  requirements are as follows:

1. Enrollment and Administrative Duties

MOE entrusts higher education institutions (hereinafter referred to  as the HEIs) with rich experience in international education to launch  the Foundation Program. China Scholarship Council (hereinafter referred  to as CSC) is entrusted by MOE to coordinate routine affairs, such as  enrollment and management of the Foundation Program, to organize  syllabus development of compulsory courses and certain optional courses  of Foundation Program, to arrange the compilation of teaching materials  and teaching reference books, and to gradually establish an evaluation  system for the complete and dynamic assessment of the students’ academic  performance.

2. Target Students

All international students with Chinese Government Scholarships who  undertake undergraduate program taught in Chinese are subject to  Foundation Program.  However, those who either submit proofs issued by their secondary schools showing that  Chinese is the instruction medium in the required courses of their  secondary education, or hold copies of HSK Certificate (generally valid for two years)  that confirm their meeting of the standards set for relevant  disciplinary courses, could be exempted from Foundation Program.

3. Overall Objectives

The Foundation Program is designed to prepare target students for  their disciplinary studies in Chinese HEIs with a training focus on the  improvements of students' capability in the following three areas,

3.1 Communicative Competence in Chinese and in Cross-cultural Contexts

Basic Knowledge of Chinese culture and society;

Communicative skills in Chinese language to deal with daily life problems;

Basic Chinese vocabulary and grammar, and necessary vocabulary and common expression patterns in Chinese for Special Purposes;

Basic Chinese competence in listening, taking notes, and raising questions in class for disciplinary studies;

Basic reading skills of disciplinary materials in Chinese with the  help of dictionaries and reference books, and necessary writing skills  for disciplinary studies.

3.2 Chinese Proficiency

No less than Band 3 in HSK for students who apply for courses in  science, engineering, agriculture, medical science (traditional Chinese  medicine excluded), economics, law, management, and education;

No less than Band 6 in HSK for students who apply for courses in  literature, history, philosophy, and traditional Chinese medicine.

3.3 Preparatory Knowledge for Disciplinary Studies

Knowledge of Mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer  science for science, engineering, agriculture, and medical science  program applicants;

Knowledge of Mathematics and computer science for economics, law, management, and education program applicants;

Knowledge of Ancient Chinese and computer science for history,  literature, philosophy, and traditional Chinese medicine program  applicants.

4. Study Duration

Foundation Program usually lasts 1 to 2 years:

1 year (40 weeks) for students with no Chinese language skills who  intend to take courses in science, engineering, agriculture, medical  science (traditional Chinese medicine excluded), economics, law,  management, and education;

2 years (80 weeks) for students with no Chinese language skills who  intend to take courses in literature, history, philosophy, and  traditional Chinese medicine;

Flexibility is available for students with certain Chinese proficiency.

5. Course Design and Teaching Mode

Foundation Program will be conducted in an intensified mode, focusing  on Chinese language skills and complemented by basic disciplinary  knowledge. Foundation Program consists of compulsory and optional  courses, whose proportion will be decided by the HEIs which offer the  above-mentioned program.

Foundation Program must include four components: language, culture, disciplinary knowledge, and language practice.

Language courses are composed of general Chinese and Chinese for  special purposes, including such lessons as comprehensive Chinese,  listening, reading, oral Chinese, Chinese reading in science and  technology, and Chinese listening and note-taking in science and  technology, etc. Culture courses involve Chinese culture, general  introduction to Chinese Society, and cross-cultural communication.  Disciplinary courses contain mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology,  ancient Chinese, Chinese for science and technology (or Business  Chinese), and computer science. Language practice refers to those  extracurricular activities such as language exercises and social  surveys.

The first year of Foundation Program shall include no less than 1,120 class hours, and 960 class hours for the second year.

The general proportion of class hours for different courses is as follows:


In light of the actual conditions of students, HEIs  offering Foundation Program shall formulate localized and campus-based  teaching plans and teaching modes.

6. Student Administration

HEIs offering Foundation Program shall carry out  administration according to the RAIS. Students’ performance during the  Foundation Program period shall be a main factor for reviewing  scholarship and awarding completion certificates.

7. Evaluation

Nationally unified evaluation criteria shall be  gradually adopted for core courses in the Foundation Program, which  mainly examine the students' Chinese language proficiency and basic  disciplinary knowledge.

Upon the completion of Foundation Program, students who  have passed the examinations and the annual review of Chinese Government  Scholarship will be awarded with certificates issued by the delivering  HEIs. The certificates will guarantee the students a direct admission to  relevant HEIs for undergraduate programs.

8. Selection of Undergraduate Program and HEIs

CSC regularly organizes HEIs offering Foundation Program  and other relevant HEIs to advise students on selection of  undergraduate programs and universities.

9. Students who have received  Foundation Program but failed to pass the examinations shall be  disqualified for Chinese Government Scholarship. Such students,  nevertheless, may obtain proofs issued by the delivering HEIs that  confirm their learning experience.

Ministry of Education, PR. China
March 13, 2009

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