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Growth of Chinese students studying in U.S. falls for 7th consecutive year

(People's Daily Online)    17:35, July 05, 2018

The growth of Chinese students studying in the U.S. has been decreasing for seven consecutive years, said a recent report issued by a U.S. organization.

The report said that the number of F-1 (for academic purposes) and M-1 (for nonacademic or vocational purposes) international students was down by 0.5 percent during the 2017-2018 school year when compared with the year before.

A total of 377,070 Chinese students are currently studying in the U.S., making China the largest source of international students to the country. Though this number is still expanding, the growth has been falling for the last seven years, the report noted.

Shi Qi, an employee of a Chinese overseas education agency, told People’s Daily Overseas Edition that U.S. education is gradually losing its charm in China. She compared it to a running train, saying it’s impossible to stop immediately, but the speed is gradually slowing down.

According to a survey conducted by The Times and foreign exchange company FairFX, the U.S. was the second most expensive destination for overseas study in 2017, with an average annual cost of $35,705.

U.S. News & World Report said that the top 50 U.S. private universities saw an average 3.6 percent rise in tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year. The increase even hit 4 percent in some of the top institutions.

Lin Jia, a Chinese student who’s currently applying to South Korean universities, said that she once considered applying to U.S. schools, but finally opted for another country due to such high expenses. She explained, “The general spending in South Korea is around 200,000 yuan ($30,147) each year, which wouldn't be nearly enough in the U.S.”

According to the latest applicant survey report, issued by leading global higher education company Quacquarelli Symonds, the U.S. is still the first choice for Chinese students when it comes to overseas study. However, more and more Chinese students are turning to other countries due to U.S. policies such as mobility restrictions and immigration control.

Shi said that with China's improved national power and international influence over the past four decades, more and more students and parents are beginning to see overseas study as a rational option, and to study abroad is no longer seen as western-worship.

“The current generation of students preparing for overseas studies grew up with more freedom and independence, so they are more responsible when making plans for overseas study,” Shi added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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