March 10th, 2016
On January 8, 2015, The Academic Degree and State Council of the Ministry of Education put to law the Degree (2015) No. 18, also known as the “Degree and Degree-Granting Information Management Approach.” This law directly affects the role of the State in the granting of the degrees by academic institutions throughout China.
The law is set to support institutional autonomy by allowing institutions of higher education to grant their own degrees. As of January 1, 2016, the State in China will no longer issue university degrees. However, centralization of all certificate date will continue to be managed by the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council.
Here are a few facts on the new law concerning the autonomy granted to institutions of higher education and their degree-granting authority:
1. Each institution has the freedom to design its own degree template, however, the information to be presented on the degrees must be in conformance with the law to include all the following:
• Color photo with embossed stamp of awarding institution
• Discipline or professional degree category
• Degree-granting institution name
• Certificate number (16 digit number where the first five digits are the institution code, the sixth is the degree level [ e.g. doctor is 2, master’s is 3, bachelor’s is 4], digits seven to ten are the degree year [e.g. 2016], and the last six digits are unique to the certificate holder)
• Signature of chairman of degree-granting institution
2. Some institutions have published the templates of their degrees but many have not published them yet are still having open voting from February-March 2016.
a. Sample Degree Templates from Capital University of Economics and Business:
Capital University of Economics and Business
b. Sample Degree Templates from Zhejiang University (http://www.zju.edu.cn/c1429839/content_2843290.html )
I. Bachelor Degree
3. Photos on diplomas must be in color (it’s mandated).
4. Even if an institution issued a degree certificate in English, it is essential that the Chinese version as issued by the institution be provided.
5. The recent changes don’t change the dual qualification framework where we still need to see the Degree Certificate and Graduation Certificate.
Alan Saidi Senior Vice-President & COO
The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.