Can I go to university or get a scholarship in China if I have hepatitis B?
Microscopic view of hepatitis-B-infected liver cells; image by Nephron
For a long time, blood tests for the hepatitis B virus (HBV) were a routine part of all university health checks, whether for enrollment or employment. Thankfully that came to an end in 2010 when the Ministry of Education of China issued a paper forbidding hepatitis B virus checking for any school enrollment, including kindergartens and pre-school education centers.
The paper banned HBV virus markers and HBV DNA testing, so if you are hepatitis B carrier, you should theoretically have no problem getting enrolled at university in China. However, school enrollment health checks retain tests for liver function, and you could still be denied a placement if it is found that your liver is functioning abnormally. In the event of a positive result, a further blood test will be carried out to ensure that no errors were made during the initial testing.
Prior to the issue of the 2010 paper, hepatitis B carriers were not allowed to study the following majors:
- Pre-school Education
- Navigation Technology
- Aviation Technology
- Pastry Making
- Western Cuisine
- Cooking and Nutrition
- Food Science and Engineering
All of these courses are now back on the menu regardless of a person’s hepatitis B status. However, three majors/industries remain off-limits to anyone with hepatitis B, regardless of their liver function, and applicants must agree to testing before they will be accepted on a course/job:
- Job applicants for Special Police Unit
- Students for Civil Aviation Pilot major
- Job applicants for blood testing stations
In summary, then, as long as your liver functions normally, you can apply for almost anything in China, except the three listed above, without being automatically denied. Any organizations demanding that students or job applicants go in for hepatitis B testing are illegal.
If schools violate the rule, the enrollment office and the people responsible will be punished, as will the hospitals or health check centers performing the tests – the latter may even be banned from being allowed to perform health checking services in the future.
Of course, implementation of the rule may not be universal across China, regardless of what is strictly demanded by the law. As a result, it might be a good idea to contact the university before applying to confirm whether or not they demand HBV checks.
Scholarships are granted based on student’s academic performance and ability, and health is not taken into consideration at all.
Useful Chinese words and phrases
|乙肝病毒携带者||yǐgān bìngdú xiédài zhě||Hepatitis B carrier|
|肝功能||gān gōngnéng||Liver function|
|特警||tèjǐng||Special Police Unit|
|民航飞行员||mínháng fēixíngyuán||Civil pilot|
|航海技术||hánghǎi jìshù||Navigation Technology|
|飞行技术||fēixíng jìshù||Aviation Technology|
|学前教育||xuéqián jiàoyù||Pre-school Education|
|面点工艺||miàndiǎn gōngyì||Pastry making|
|西餐工艺||xīcān gōngyì||Western cuisine|
|食品科学与工程||shípǐn kēxué yǔ gōngchéng||Food Science and Engineering|