Guidelines issued regulating university student internships
In July 2019, the Ministry of Education circulated a notice requiring universities to strengthen and regulate their management of student internships. It sets out guidelines for student internship management by the universities.
Under the notice, universities must work together with the internship host entity ("Host") to develop an internship plan specifying the objectives, tasks, and evaluation criteria for the internship program. Universities must conduct on-site evaluation of the Host to ensure it is qualified to carry out the internship program. They can then sign an internship cooperation agreement with the Host setting out the rights, obligations and management responsibilities of the parties. No internship program should be arranged without a signed cooperation agreement. Universities are strictly forbidden to entrust any agency or individual to organize and/or manage internship work.
Universities and Hosts must provide students with the necessary work conditions and a safe and healthy environment for internship work. Universities must purchase adequate internship liability insurance or personal injury accident insurance for students in advance. In particular, universities and Hosts are not allowed to arrange for students to work in commercial entertainment establishments (which includes bars, night clubs, KTV parlors, etc. based on previous internship legislation).
Furthermore, except for certain special positions such as clinical internships, the intern students’ working hours should not exceed 8 hours per day, and 44 hours per week. The 44 weekly working hours are actually higher than the 40 weekly working hours for normal employees. No overtime and night shifts may be arranged for intern students. In principle, the intern students in an on-the-job training internship should be paid no less than 80% of the wages of the employees in the same post.
The above requirements for university student interns are generally in line with the requirements for vocational school interns (i.e. students from vocational schools who normally engage in blue-collar-type work) set out under the Administrative Provisions on the Internships of Vocational School Students issued by the Ministry of Education and four other departments in 2016.