Bossa responds to Chinese expulsions

24 June, 2015

Beijing-based agency association Bossa has responded to a report that claimed around 8,000 Chinese students were expelled from American universities last year, citing similar problems among other nationalities, differences in the educational systems and the need for vigilant authentication of documents.

A report published by WholeRen Education, a US-located company providing placement and counselling services for Chinese nationals, estimated that around 8,000 Chinese students were expelled in 2014, based on a survey of 1,657 students that had been dismissed and official national data. The report received widespread media coverage in the USA and China.

Sang Peng, the President of Bossa, said the expulsion of students for poor academic performance was a common occurrence within most institutions, and that the sheer weight of demand from China would inevitably lead to dismissals.

“Due to the continued rise in the numbers of Chinese students attending American universities, it is likely that the expulsion of Chinese students from overseas universities will continue in the near future and perhaps even increase.”

If accurate, the 8,000 figure would represent around three per cent of the 274,439 Chinese students enrolled at American universities in the 2013/14 academic year, according to the latest Open Doors report.

“Students expelled for poor academic performance are not limited to Chinese students alone. Students from other countries and even American nationals are just as likely to be expelled,” said Peng.

The report claimed that low performance and academic dishonesty were the two primary reasons for dismissal, representing a combined 80 per cent.

Peng explained that difficulties in adjusting to the American education style were a factor in students struggling academically, even for seemingly high-achieving candidates.

“China’s education system is exam oriented. Despite achieving high scores, there exists a significant gap between test scores and actual student ability. In addition, there are major differences between Chinese and Western education systems. It is difficult for Chinese students to adjust to a foreign education system in a short period of time and the major reason why they fail to meet the academic requirements,” he said.

The WholeRen report said that over two-thirds (69 per cent) of expulsions occurred within the first two academic years in the US.

Peng strongly criticised any instances of academic dishonesty and urged greater vigilance of student credentials.

“Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic deceit are common in all countries. Although students who commit these academic offences are in the definite minority, this behaviour cannot be tolerated within the grounds of any academic institution, no matter what country,” he said.

“Our association and its members strongly oppose this dishonest behaviour. In regards to this issue, we would like to place future emphasis on the verification and authentication of students’ academic documents. Bossa and the majority of our agency members have recently signed the Study Abroad Academic Verification Memorandum pledging to combat this issue.”

Bossa has recently commenced a document authentication service and along with the Chinese Ministry of Education is calling on more study abroad destinations to make officially authenticated records for Chinese students mandatory.

Peng added that helping Chinese students to successfully complete studies abroad was a problem that required a collaborative effort in China and overseas. “We need to work together to find a solution and provide much-needed help to these students. Only by improving the overall academic ability of our students can we hope to achieve a lasting and effective solution to this problem.”

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