[photopress:students.jpg,full,alignright]China’s Education Ministry has said no university has the right to withhold a student’s graduation or degree certificates on the grounds that they have failed to pay back tuition loans. Which takes away a very potent debt collecting argument.
A senior official with the ministry said university and college students who get tuition loans from the government should sign agreements with their universities fixing the time and method of payment.
In 1999, China’s education authority increased enrollments in higher education, allowing around five million students to go to college each year.
Loans are available to poor students and the government pays the interest on the loan, which has to be paid back in full before graduation.
However, many Chinese colleges and universities are owed millions of reminbi because students are unable to, or choose not to, pay back tuition loans.
Cui Bangyan, a senior ministry official ,said at a press conference in Beijing, ‘We have found that many universities and colleges have several million yuan of defaulted tuition fees, some have nearly a billion.’
Some of these universities and colleges refused to give certificates to student in debt.
Earlier reports showed a university in south China’s Hainan Province prevented students in debt from attending their final examinations.
However, Cui Bangyan said the ministry has granted no right to any university or college to withhold graduation or degree certificates of students who owe money for tuition fees.
If a student did not receive due certificates because of debt, they should negotiate with the university or complain to higher university authorities. The illustration is, of course, of a generic group of students. None are in debt to an university.