A group of British universities is devising courses in line with the censorship rules of the Chinese government.
Four institutions are piloting a new online teaching platform for students in China which will allow them to continue or start degrees at UK institutions even if they stay at home in the autumn term because of the pandemic. However, the students will receive only government-approved materials.
The pilot scheme involves King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, and York and Southampton universities. It is run by Jisc, which provides digital services for higher education. The teaching link has been provided for free by Alibaba Cloud, the Chinese tech giant, creating a virtual connection between students and the online network of their UK university.
China’s internet censorship laws, known as the Great Firewall, are notoriously draconian. Search engines and social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google, are banned. References to Winnie the Pooh have previously been outlawed after bloggers made irreverent comparisons to President Xi.