The Ministry of Education of China recently issued the Regulations on the Management of Non-Qualification Education in Regular Higher Education Institutions (Trial) (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations).
The term "non-qualification education" as mentioned in these regulations refers to various trainings, advanced studies, research studies, and counseling conducted by higher education institutions outside of qualification/academic education. These programs are usually short-term, and a Completion Certificate (结业证书) is issued upon completion, as opposed to a Graduation Certificate (毕业证书) for qualification/academic education.
The Regulations make it clear that higher education institutions are not allowed to hold non-qualification education courses in the name of "postgraduate (研究生)", "master's degree (硕士学位)” and “doctoral degree (博士学位)", etc. In other words, these mentioned terminologies should only be used for qualification/academic education.
The Regulations also state that non-qualification education certificates of higher education institutions should be uniformly produced by the centralized management department and serially numbered, and make a distinction from the qualification/academic education certificates. The Completion Certificate shall specify the time period and content of the study.
More information about the Regulations is available at the website of the Ministry of Education of China.