On may 22, 2009 the ministry of education in China passed an interim provisions for quality control standardized undergraduate medical education in English medium for international students which consists of 7 chapters and 32 articles which is supposed to draw a fine line between schools eligible to admit foreigners to learn in English medium in China which are known are first batch higher education institutions (HEI’s) and the rest being classified as second batch. This raised an enormous fear among foreigners in schools, which were not on the list. In the academic year of 2008/2009 only 25 transitional higher education institutions were approved to teach MBBS in English Medium with well known schools such as Capital Medical University, Dalian Medical University, Jilin University and Fudan University approved. The subsequent years other HEI’s were added gradually and this lead to a total number of 52 schools being approved to teach MBBS in English medium in the academic year of 2013/2014 with a total number of scale enrollment of 6020 students. Some schools had a really depreciable scale of enrollment at the figure of 10 students, such as Shantou University and Lanzhou university and the highest scale of enrollment for that academic year being 200 students which was recorded in Tianjin Medical university, Dalian medical university, china medical university, Zhengzhou university, southern medical university and Liaoning medical university. But one may ask with the influx of foreign nationals coming into china to study medicine is it actually good to have only 52 schools approved to teach in English medium out of the vast medical universities in China and what is the criteria? Are the second batch universities not good? These are questions on the minds of students.
According to article 24 of chapter VI of the interim law passed to govern teaching MBBS in English medium www.hebeinu.org.cn/article/study-in-china.html
“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 in clinical practice courses should have doctor’s license or temporary license in China and their employment shall meet state regulations. “Which most second batch institutions do not qualify for, there might be a modicum of truth to this statement. It is also said that the government uses the number of international partnership (European) institutions that HEI’s partner with to determine if it should be approved to be a first batch university.
In addition students in second batch institutions will not have their degrees translated in English and will not be eligible to partake in medical screening test by their various home countries licensing board such as PLAB, USMLE, MCI, PMDC etc. This then should make it a fair warning for students to search for appropriate MOE approved institutions to study MBBS in English medium.
But the question still remains are first batch schools better than second batch schools?