Degree education is tightly controlled by the central government in China. Each degree offered at every university is pre-assigned by the Education Ministry of China on a yearly basis. This means that if a student is admitted to a certain degree program at a certain university, she/he has a quota of degree offers in the same program at that university, but she/he cannot transfer to another university or even another program at the same university. The reason being is that if another program or university accepted a transfer student there would be no quota of degree pre-assigned for her/him and they would therefore not be able to offer a the student a degree. In another words, the quota of degree offer is non-transferable. Under ordinary circumstances there is no transfer of students among Chinese universities, or even among different programs at the same university. Contrarily, credit transfer is a universal policy in many counties, including the United States and Canada, and there is no restriction like the "quota of degree pre-assigned".
CNEEC's research shows that there exists a potential market for degree education in China due to central government controlled policies as mentioned above. With entry into the WTO, China's situation will change, but it will take several years to meet the standards of international education systems. During the transition period, some special projects can play important roles and could effectively promote the export of Canadian higher education.
The General Study Program (GSP) was developed with this background in mind and is designed for Chinese students who intend to pursue education for undergraduate degrees. The GSP recruits qualified students without the restriction of "quota of degree pre-assigned" by the Chinese central government and offers two years of internationally standardized university courses. Students who complete the GSP may apply to universities abroad to continue their studies providing that they meet the academic qualifications.
The General Study Program (GSP) employs Canadian universities' criteria and provides roughly 20 courses for each discipline during a two year time period. All textbooks used in the GSP are original English versions and most of them are currently used in several Canadian universities. All credit courses are taught in both English and Chinese, meaning that, all written teachings, such as textbooks, tests, homework and blackboard writings, are exclusively in English, and the oral teaching is given in Chinese. In addition, the GSP also provides the students with about 1,300 hours of intensive English training courses to improve their English ability.
The GSP, with its international standard university education system, is an ideal program for those students who are interested in applying for further study in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and other English speaking counties.
CNEEC and its Chinese university partners may periodically provide detailed reports and related documents about the GSP to Canadian universities in order to highlight the program's effective operation and quality of education. These materials may include education criteria, syllabi, semester calendars, testing standards and methods, and individual student academic records. This information may be useful for Canadian universities to evaluate the admission qualifications of the students. It is important to stress however, that CNEEC is totally involved in the operation of the GSP and also welcomes any suggestions or evaluations from Canadian universities regarding the GSP.