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Chinese demands tougher education standards from New Zealand
( 2003-11-05 16:12) (Agencies)

China has asked New Zealand to improve education and safety standards at private schools and colleges attended by Chinese students, a news report said Wednesday.

The Chinese government wrote to Education Minister Trevor Mallard earlier this year claiming that education standards at private schools in New Zealand were not good enough ``to ensure a quality educational experience for Chinese students,'' according to New Zealand National Radio.

The report didn't elaborate, but Beijing's request follows the recent financial collapse of two private colleges and a series of crimes involving foreign students, including extortion and killings.

Beijing was drawing up a list of approved colleges for students planning to study abroad, and Mallard said in a statement Wednesday that private education providers in New Zealand would probably not be included unless the government responded to China's concerns.

Mallard said he would discuss the issue with private education firms on Friday.

About 30,000 Chinese students attended private schools and colleges in New Zealand last year. The schools and colleges mainly provide English language, technical and cultural courses.

During a visit to New Zealand by Chinese President Hu Jintao last month, officials signed an agreement for mutual recognition of academic degrees between the two countries.

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