In 2016, there were some 440,000 foreign students studying in the land of Confucius. That’s a 35% increase from 2012 and ranks as the most of any country in Asia.
The countries with the most students in China were South Korea, the US and Thailand, followed by Pakistan, India, Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan and Vietnam, according to data from China’s Ministry of Education.
Out of those 440,000 students, 210,000 are there for their bachelor’s degrees, 64,000 for their master’s or doctorate, and 130,000 are enrolled in Chinese kindergartens, primary and middle schools.
In an interesting twist, the percentage of foreign students studying the Chinese language has dropped to only 40%, while the number of foreign students majoring in education, science, engineering and agriculture has doubled. For foreign students in China, the top five majors were: western medicine, engineering, economy, management and Chinese language
Each year, Chinese universities climb higher and higher in the world rankings, helping to attract more foreign students. Last year, Tsinghua University was ranked as the 18th best in the world in one survey. But more importantly, each year China invests more and more money towards scholarships for foreign students.
And yet, if given the option, many Chinese students would prefer to go abroad to study. In 2015, there were more than 300,000 Chinese students studying in the United States where they hoped to receive a better (if more expensive) education, even while being forced to deal with speeches from the Dalai Lama.
[Images via People’s Daily]
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