Self-funded Chinese students now 'engine' for US higher ed

08:26, October 09, 2010      

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Along with the increasingly broad and deep educational exchanges between China and the United States in these 30 years, Chinese students have become a powerful "engine" for the U.S. higher education market.

China sent its first batch of 50 government-sponsored students to the United States in 1978, and there were about 100,000 Chinese students at U.S. universities and colleges in 2009.

Students from China have started studying in the United States at a younger and younger age, and their selection of majors has also become wider.

Hundreds of thousands of international students have not only become the United States' potential talent bank, but also provided the country with nearly 18 billion U.S. dollars in tuition fees each year. According to statistics from the U.S.-based Institute of International Education, there were over 670,000 foreign students in American higher education institutions in the 2008-2009 school year. Nearly 270,000 of them were undergraduates, and more than 280,000 were graduate students.

China has been one of the three countries with the most students in the United States in recent years, and now there are nearly 100,000 Chinese students in the United States, roughly the same number as that of India, which has sent the most students to the United States for several years.

Due to the shrinking U.S. economy and job market, fewer students from India and South Korea have gone to study in the United States, but the number of Chinese students is still increasing, and they have become a powerful "engine" for the U.S. higher education market.

The number of international students from China in American higher education institutions increased by 21 percent in the 2008-2009 school year, of which undergraduates rose by 60 percent and doctoral students rose by 130 percent.

According to U.S. media reports, even universities and colleges that used to be unpopular among Chinese students have admitted a large number of students from China, and it has become a tough problem for some American schools to prevent Chinese students from clumping together and speaking only Chinese.

American educators look forward to a further increase of students from China. Some education experts believe that China's higher education institutions are still unable to meet the domestic demand, and more Chinese families will send their children to study abroad along with the Chinese economic development. These experts, who "remain vigilant in time of peace," even suggested that the U.S. government should introduce new policies aimed at attracting more international students and better competing with Australia, Canada and other countries.

The website contributes to this report.

By People's Daily Online


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