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August 29, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Universities' foreign students to get prep classes

THE city will launch preparatory courses for foreign students studying at local universities next year to attract more overseas students, according to the Shanghai Education Commission's new school year working agenda.

The pre-university courses will help expat students to overcome the Chinese language barrier and make up for their academic shortfall in math and other subjects.

Funded by the city government, the classes will start as a pilot program next September in one or two universities.

The commission required local universities to submit plans to work out detailed proposals for the preparatory courses. Currently, Tongji University is the only local campus that offers pre-university courses for foreign students.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Tongji has trained about 300 expat students in the Chinese Government Scholarship program every year since 2009.

In the one-year preparatory training, expats have to study Chinese language and culture.

"It's most important to introduce the Chinese culture to the foreign students," said Yao Ming, director of the university's foreign student affairs office.

More than 90 percent of students pass the HSK, China's standardized test of proficiency of non-native speakers, after the training, he said.

Math, physics and chemistry are also available for pre-class choices, depending on students' education background. The university admits students from many countries, which have different requirements for each subject.

In another effort to boost international education, the commission plans to provide subsidies to help local universities attract excellent foreign teachers in a project launched this semester.


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