Colleges from SE Asia flock to Beijing education expo

13:32, June 18, 2011      

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A staff member from the University of Minnesota talks to a student about te US school at China International Exhibition Center on Friday during an education fair. (Photo: China Daily)

Southeast Asian universities have been showing unique enthusiasm in this year's Beijing International Education Expo.

The Malaysian embassy in China is represented by 12 universities, the largest group among all the international exhibitors, Saturday's China Daily reported.

The Chinese and Malaysian governments reached agreements on frameworks to facilitate mutual recognition of higher education qualifications during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia in late April.

"The number of Chinese students in Malaysia reached a historic peak of 10,000 in 2010. And we are expecting more after the agreements," said Wong Chong Way, education attache at the embassy.

Chaowanee Tangwongprasert, first secretary of the Royal Thai embassy, said that the number of Chinese students in Thailand was almost 8,000 last year, and 90 percent of them were undergraduate students.

The enrollment figure had doubled in five years, she said. "Most of the Chinese students come from the southern part of China. We hope to attract more from the northern part by hiring more staff who can speak Chinese."

Philippines' Cebu Doctors' University, which attended the event for the first time, holds a high reputation among Japanese and Korean students for its language school. But Lee Jun-ho, general manager of the register's office in Asia, hopes to reduce the ratio of Korean students in the school and recruit more Chinese.

"We see the great demand for Chinese students in learning English and studying abroad. And Southeast Asian countries are good springboards for the students," he said, adding that students can polish their English there with less money and shorter time.

More Chinese parents aim to send their teenage kids abroad for undergraduate study, prompting the education fair to draw crowds of parents and students on Friday, opening day. The expo continues through Sunday at the China International Exhibition Center.

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