Circular of the Ministry of Education On Interim Provisions for Quality Control Standards on Undergraduate Medical Education in English for International Students in China

Jiaowailai [2007] No. 39

To Education Departments (or Education Commissions) of Provinces, Autonomous Regions, and Municipalities directly under the Central Government and the Education Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

In recent years, some colleges and universities in our country, in order to expand the scale of recruiting international students and meet the demands of international students’ for undergraduate medical education in English in China, have started to offer undergraduate clinical medical programmes in English, which has been welcomed by some countries and some international students in China. Nevertheless, problems have appeared during the process. For instance, a few colleges and universities, focusing their attention on profit only, are blindly expanding the scale of recruiting students further; the quality of teaching at some colleges and universities are low due to shortages of teaching staff capable of delivering courses in English; a small number of colleges and universities have lowered their recruitment thresholds by accepting a secondary-school graduation certificate as the only qualification, thus resulting in the quality of students falling short of the criteria and affecting the reputation of China’s higher education.

In order to regulate the management of the undergraduate medical education for international students in China, enhance the quality of teaching and learning, and promote the healthy development of education for international students in China, the Ministry of Education has set up a National (Western) Medical Education Expert Group for International Students in China (hereinafter referred to as the Expert Group). The Expert Group, on the basis of full-scale investigation and research, has formulated the Interim Provisions for Quality Control Standards on Undergraduate Medical Education in English for International Students in China, (hereinafter referred to as the Interim Provisions), which is now issued to you to be implemented; the requirements concerning the Interim Provisions are stated as follows:

A. Since the academic year of 2007/2008, management shall be exercised of the implementation plans for the enrolment of students for undergraduate clinical medical courses in English at institutions of higher education that come up to the standards and articles of the Interim Provisions, and thus these enrolment plans shall be published annually.

B. Following the assessment by the Expert Group, the 30 higher educational institutions that will enrol international students for the Undergraduate Medical Education Programme in English have been selected and their enrolment plans for the academic year of 2007/2008 have been approved. Institutions that are not included in this list or those that have not formulated enrolment plans yet shall not enrol international students for the undergraduate clinical medical programmes in English in China.

C. Those institutions of higher education that are not included in the name list but have admitted international students on the undergraduate clinical medical programmes in English before the publication of the Interim Provisions, shall meet the following requirements:

1. The quality of the teaching and management of the international students already admitted shall be guaranteed in accordance with the original teaching plans and these Interim Provisions;

2. In case that questions should be raised by the international students already on campus as to the qualifications of the colleges and universities enrolling international students, the following explanations shall be offered: That these institutions have not been included in the List of names because, in accordance with the new management of enrolment plans for the undergraduate clinical medical programmes in English for international students in China, newly exercised by the State as of the academic year of 2007/2008, the State has not assigned enrolment plans to these institutions;

3. In cases where international students should make a request for a transfer, the students shall submit their applications to the institution that he/she intends to transfer into; the institution where the students are studying shall not try to detain them. Where transference procedures are necessary, the institutions concerned shall consult the accepting institutions in accordance with relevant original regulations and deal with the matter in an appropriate manner.

D. The List of names published this time remains dynamic, which means that the Expert Group shall undertake assessments in order to judge if an institution has satisfied the requirements stipulated in the Interim Provisions and that it shall publish the results along with the enrolment plans for the next academic year. Those institutions which are not included in the List can enrol international students for the undergraduate medical programmes in Chinese, on condition that the criteria shall remain the same as those for Chinese students.

Institutions of higher education across the country shall submit a timely report on the implementation of these Interim Provisions to the International Cooperation and Communication Department, Ministry of Education.

Appendices

1.Interim Provisions for Quality Control Standards on Undergraduate Medical Education in English for International Students in China

2.List of Higher Educational Institutions That Will Enrol International Students for the Undergraduate Clinical Medical Education Programme in English and the Plans for Enrolment for the Academic Year of 2008/2009

Interim Provisions for Quality Control Standards on Undergraduate Medical Education in English for International Student in China

(The English translation is for reference only. In case of discrepancy,
the Ministry of Education of P.R.C. reserves the authority for final interpretation.)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1  These provisions are formulated for the purpose of standardizing the management of undergraduate medical education in English for international students in China, ensuring quality teaching and promoting the sound development of education for international students.

Article 2  These provisions apply to the quality control of undergraduate education in English in clinical medicine for international students in China's higher educational institutions.

Article 3  The teaching plans for the undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China shall be developed to match the training objectives and requirements of the undergraduate medical education program for Chinese students. The basic requirements for international students shall also match those for Chinese students. On this premise, some appropriate changes and adjustments in the curriculum for Chinese students shall be made to better suit the requirements of the international student's home country or the third country where students may wish to practice medicine.

Article 4  The overall goal of the undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China is to train the undergraduate students to develop solid medical knowledge, standardized clinical skills, and an appropriate professional attitude, and to lay the foundation for their further study in medical research, health administration, etc.

Article 5  The length of schooling for the undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China is six years. On completing the requirements of the teaching program and passing the graduation examinations successfully, international medical undergraduates will be granted a graduation certificate and conferred a medical degree by the host institution, if they meet the degree regulations of the host institution. The English copy of the degree will state MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery).

Chapter II Training Standards

Article 6  The undergraduate medical education program for international students in China shall insist on the following principles:
  (1) Teaching of medical knowledge shall be based on solid scientific principles and enable students to develop lifelong learning habits, corresponding clinical skills and appropriate professional ethics.
  (2) Undergraduate medical education shall not only focus on the basic principles of medical science and clinical skills, but also develop students' analytical skills and their ability to make sound judgments based on evidence and experience.
  (3) Graduates of the undergraduate medical students shall engage in effective medical practice under the guidance of senior physicians and become independent doctors through further professional education and training.

Article 7  International graduates of the undergraduate medical program shall demonstrate professionalism and ethics quality through exhibiting:
  (1) Willingness to dedicate themselves to enhancing the health profession and fostering the well-being of the mind and body;
  (2) Good care for patients, recognition of lifelong responsibility to prevent disease and eliminate symptoms, the moral obligation to provide hospice care, and the professional responsibility to safeguard the health interests of human beings;
  (3) Ability to uphold principles and make full use of health resources;
  (4) Devotion to lifelong learning and continuous self-improvement;
  (5) Respect for each individual and their beliefs;
  (6) Scientific attitude by seeking truth from evidence and getting help from other doctors when they are unable to solve medical problems by themselves;
  (7) Sense of innovation;
  (8) Spirit of teamwork;
  (9) Ability to practice medicine in accordance with the laws and to use the laws to protect patients and their own rights and interests.

Article 8  International graduates of the undergraduate medical program shall demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of:
  (1) Basic Chinese language and today's China;
  (2) Mathematics, physics, chemistry, life science, behavioral science and social sciences, as they are related to medicine, and how to use this knowledge to guide their medical practice;
  (3) Body structure and function in human beings, human behavior, and normal state of mind;
  (4) Causes of common diseases and frequently-occurring diseases including mental illnesses, the impact of environmental, social, behavioral and psychological factors on the occurrence and development of diseases and the importance of disease prevention;
  (5) Pathogenesis, clinical symptoms, diagnosis and preventive ways of common diseases and frequently-occurring diseases;
  (6) Basic knowledge of pharmacology and clinical principles of rational drug use;
  (7) Normal pregnancy and delivery, common obstetric emergency treatment, principles of prenatal and postnatal health care, and family planning;
  (8) Health education and disease prevention, common diseases, disabilities, rehabilitation, hospice care, and general practice;
  (9) Knowledge of clinical epidemiology;
  (10) Basic patterns of development and spread of infectious diseases, and prevention of common infectious diseases;
  (11) Principles of fair and effective distribution of health care services and rational use of limited medical resources;
  (12) Basic characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine and its application based on an overall analysis of the patient's condition.

Article 9  International graduates of the undergraduate medical program shall be able to:
  (1) Collect medical history comprehensively, systematically and correctly;
  (2) Perform systematic and standardized physical and psychiatric examinations and write standard records;
  (3) Make and express accurate clinical judgments;
  (4) Diagnose and treat common and frequently-occurring diseases in internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and other branches of medicine;
  (5) Diagnose and treat general emergency cases;
  (6) Select appropriate clinical diagnosis and treatment for patients;
  (7) Improve treatment methods in medical practice by using the principles of evidence-based medicine;
  (8) Communicate with patients and their families effectively and encourage patient cooperation;
  (9) Share their experience with doctors and other medical personnel effectively;
  (10) Analyze medical problems independently and acquire new knowledge and relevant information based on clinical practice, with the help of library databases and modern information technology;
  (11) Publicize relevant knowledge about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention to patients and the general public;
  (12) Study more independently and throughout their lives.

Chapter III Curriculum Planning

Article 10  Higher educational institutions that enroll international students for the undergraduate medical education program in English, under the requirements of medical and health service, the development of medical science and changes of medical mode, and in accordance with the standards of undergraduate medical education and the basic requirements of the curriculum by the Ministry of Education, shall plan the curriculum according to the actual requirements of the institutions. The curriculum and its basic requirements shall be defined clearly.

Article 11  The institutions shall integrate the curriculum reasonably. The curriculum shall include compulsory courses and elective courses. The proportion of compulsory courses and elective courses shall be determined according to the actual requirements.

Article 12  The institutions must have a special office which is responsible for the management of curriculum planning and implementation of the curriculum program for international medical students under the guidance of their related departments.

Article 13  The curriculum planning shall include the following three parts:
  (1) Chinese culture and natural science courses, including an overview of China's culture, Chinese language, Chinese medical terminology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, physical education, etc. It is required to pass the examinations of these courses respectively.
  (2) Basic medical sciences, behavioral science, humanities, social science and medical ethics, preventive medicine and clinical medicine. It is also required to pass the examinations of these courses respectively.
  Basic medical sciences include human anatomy, histology and embryology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, human parasitology, pathology, pharmacology, medical immunology, medical genetics, etc. These elements also embody forms of integration courses based on the basic medical sciences.
  The courses of behavioral science, humanities, social science and medical ethics usually include medical psychology, medical ethics, social medicine, health economics, health law, health administration, etc.
  Preventive medicine course includes epidemiology, health statistics, community prevention, occupational health and safety, environmental health, drug toxicology, food hygiene, nutrition and disease, maternal and child health and primary health care.
  Clinical medicine courses typically include diagnosis, imaging diagnostics, internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, lemology, neurology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, stomatology, dermatology, psychiatry and mental health science, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, rehabilitation medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, etc. Clinical abilities include collecting the history, performing physical examinations and laboratory examinations, diagnosis and differential diagnosis, making and implementing the clinical plans and clinical operations, clinical judgment, emergency handling and communication skills. Clerkship is completed in the teaching hospitals of the host institution.
  (3) Internship. The institutions shall meticulously organize the reasonable arrangement of the internship. The duration of the internship is one year (at least 48 weeks). The institutions can arrange the students to do their internships in the teaching hospitals of the host institutions or the teaching hospitals affiliated with the medical institutions approved by the Ministry of Health abroad. The institutions shall be strict in accordance with the plans to develop internship contents and requirements, and keep abreast of the development in the internship. After completing the internship, international students must take the graduation examination arranged by the host institution.

Article 14  In order to facilitate their learning and life in China and contact with patients in their medical practice, the Chinese language shall be a compulsory course during the whole undergraduate medical program in English for international students in China.

Chapter IV Teaching and Supervision

Article 15  The institutions shall take students as the center and self-study as the main education contents to actively reform teaching methods and lay great emphasis on developing scientific judgment and learning ability.
Teaching methods include new teaching and learning methods. The guiding, questioning and interactive methods are encouraged to use in teaching activities.

Article 16  The institutions shall establish the entire process of academic performance assessment system for international students and do some research on examination methods. The institutions shall provide clear provisions and notes for student's assessments to comprehensively assess student's knowledge, skills, behavior, attitude, and abilities to judge, analyze and solve clinical problems and communicate with others.
  Assessment system includes formative assessment system and final evaluation system. The formative assessment system comprises tests, observational records and practice manual. The final evaluation system includes final course and comprehensive graduation examination.

Article 17  The institutions shall ensure that these evaluation activities will help to strengthen realization of the training objectives and satisfy course requirements and improve the learning ability of students. A comprehensive examination focused on practical ability is taken to encourage students to know their subjects from A to Z. The self-assessment is advocated to improve active learning capability. On decision of the amount and nature of examinations, the institutions shall pay attention to the leading roles of examinations and avoid negative effects of examinations.
  Upon completion of all examinations, the examination analysis shall be conducted. The analysis results shall be in an appropriate type provided to the students, teachers and teaching staff to improve teaching level. An analysis of tests includes the overall results, the reliability and validity of examinations, difficulty and differentiation of questions, as well as analysis of professional contents.

Article 18  The institutions shall establish supervising and evaluating systems of course planning to improve teaching quality and set up a teaching supervision group in English to oversee the implementation of curriculum planning and the learning progress of international students and to ensure that problems can be found and solved in time.

Article 19  The teaching administration department of institutions shall establish comprehensive management regulations and set up a special office staffed with the corresponding personnel.

Chapter V Eligibility and Admission

Article 20  Applicants for the undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China shall hold a high school diploma and provide high school transcript with good marks. They shall also be in good health and have strong competence in English language. Students from non-native English speaking countries must provide the certificates of learning English in the primary and secondary schools or the certificates of English proficiency test. Moreover, students shall undertake to abide by the Constitution and laws of the People's Republic of China and school's regulations during their period of study in China.

Article 21  Applicants shall have reliable economic supports and guarantors. Medical insurance is compulsory during their period of study at the host institution.

Article 22  In order to guarantee the quality of students, admission processes shall be strictly controlled, which include the check of admission qualifications, entrance examinations or assessment. After the approval procedure in accordance with the regulations, the institution will recruit the eligible applicants and the International Student Affairs Office will send them the "Admission Notice" and "Foreign Students to Apply for Visa (JW 202 Form)".

Chapter VI Basic Conditions of Institutions

Article 23  Higher educational institutions that enroll international students for the undergraduate medical program in English in China shall have the authority to grant master's degree in Basic Medicine and Clinical Medicine (First-level Subjects), and the affiliated hospitals with Grade III, Level A.

Article 24  The institutions shall have those teachers who can teach all the subjects in English. The teaching hours of foreign teachers cannot exceed 20% of the total class hours. And each of foreign teachers cannot undertake more than one main course. Foreign teachers shall have the required degree or relevant professional title for the discipline of the course they teach. Foreign teachers in clinical practice courses should have doctor's license or temporary license in China and their employment shall meet state regulations.

Article 25  The institutions shall have strict regulations to examine teacher's qualifications and organize training for teachers. Before working at their posts, teachers shall be trained in teaching skills, English proficiency and the policy for international students. Only qualified teachers can work at these posts and the institutions shall offer opportunities for teacher's further training.

Article 26  The institutions shall have teaching facilities like classrooms, discussion rooms, and laboratories.

Article 27  The institutions shall have the library with English reference materials and professional information to help implement teaching programs and meet the needs of international students' and teachers' research activities. The library shall also have the corresponding staff to guide international students and provide computer enquiry service.

Article 28  The institutions shall have clinical teaching base for clinical teaching and internship for international students. The clinical teaching base shall be an affiliated hospital or teaching hospital with Grade III, Level A. The hospital shall provide certain number of beds for international students. The ratio of bed numbers to international students shall also tally with the regulation for Chinese medical undergraduate students.

Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions

Article 29  Standard of fees:
  In accordance with Circular on Adjustment of the Standard of Fees for Self-funded International Students in China [Jiaowailai No.7 (1998)] co-issued by Ministry of Education (former as the State Education Commission) and State Development Reform Commission (former as the State Planning Commission), the tuition fees for the undergraduate medical education program for international students in China shall have an increase from 50% to 100%, as compared with the tuition fees of undergraduate liberal arts programs for international students in China. The tuition fee for undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China is allowed to increase to its maximum.

Article 30  The Ministry of Education will commission the Medical Education Expert Group to assess the teaching quality of the undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China and to publish the name list of the institutions and scale of admission. The Institutions that are not in the name list will not be allowed to enroll international students for the undergraduate medical program in English.
  The Institutions that apply for enrolling international students for the undergraduate medical program in English shall be measured by the Medical Education Expert Group. The qualified institutions will be listed in the coming year's name list.

Article 31  Stomatology and other undergraduate medical education program in English for international students in China shall be implemented according to these standards and regulations.

Article 32 These standards and regulations will be put into effect after they are issued officially.

Appendix:

Name list of Higher Educational Institutions
That Enrol International Students for the Undergraduate
Medical Education Programme in English and the Plans for
Enrolment for the Academic Year of 2008/2009

No.

Enrolling Institution

Number of enrolments for academic year of 2008/2009

01

Capital Medical University

100

02

Tianjin Medical University

180

03

Dalian Medical University

128

04

China Medical University

120

05

Jilin University

100

06

Harbin Medical University

100

07

Fudan University

60

08

Southeast University

120

09

Nanjing Medical University

50

10

Soochow University

140

11

Zhejiang University

120

12

Wenzhou Medical College

150

13

Shandong University

100

14

Qingdao University

120

15

Zhengzhou University

180

16

Wuhan University

100

17

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

120

18

Central South University

60

19

Southern Medical University

150

20

Guangxi Medical University

100

21

Sichuan University

100

22

Chongqing Medical University

180

23

Xi’an Jiaotong University

120

24

Xinjiang Medical University

150

25

Nantong University

80


2007-07-10