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Government Urges Checks on Foreign Students’ ‘Quality’ After ‘Buddy’ Outrage

By Teng Jing Xuan / Jul 23, 2019 03:01 PM / Society & Culture

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Government funding for foreign students in China grew more than 20% last year, according to new data published by the Ministry of Education in the wake of recent outrage over male international students at Shandong University allegedly being assigned local female “buddies.”

Money allocated for scholarships for foreign students more than doubled between 2012 and 2019, jumping from 1.55 billion yuan ($225 million) to 3.92 billion yuan this year. In 2018, 63,000 international students received Chinese government scholarships, accounting for 12.8% of the total number of foreign students in China, the ministry said, adding that the “quality” of foreign students at some institutions needed improvement.

Earlier this month, media reports about Shandong University’s practice of assigning multiple local female “buddies” to male international students prompted ire on Chinese social media over what some people saw as favoritism toward foreigners. The university apologized on July 12 for a “lack of strict checks” and “inappropriate options” on its sign-up form for students participating in the buddy program.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Teng Jing Xuan (

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