Opening doors

By Qi Xijia Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/16 19:08:39

Chinese students attending US schools on the rise despite slower pace of growth

The number of Chinese students enrolled in US institutions of higher education during the 2016-17 academic year grew to 350,755, a 6.8 percent increase from the previous academic year, though the pace of this growth has dropped to the lowest point in the past decade, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report.

Open Doors is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit organization with a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.

Educational Exchange Data from Open Doors 2017 shows that, for the eighth year in a row, China ranks first among all countries and regions in sending students to the US, with Chinese students representing 32.5 percent of all international students.

This was the third year in a row that the number of undergraduate students from China exceeded the number of graduate students. In the 2016-17 academic year, there were 142,851 Chinese undergraduate students, an increase of 5.3 percent from the year before. Chinese graduate students in the US numbered 128,320, a 4.1 percent annual increase.

Non-degree students and optional practical training (OPT) students also increased 13 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. Despite growth in absolute numbers, the pace of growth has slowed down. In 2016-17, the growth rate of students from China was much smaller than India's.

In 2016-17, the number of Indian students enrolled in US institutions of higher education in the academic year 2016-17 grew to 186,267 from 165,918, up 12.3 percent, doubling the growth percentage of Chinese students.

The report also found that China dropped from the fifth to sixth most-popular destination for American students studying abroad. That said, China remains the most popular Asian destination, with over 11,689 students studying in China in the 2015-16 academic year.

This number is an 8.6 percent decrease from the year before. Addressing the declining trend, Pauline Kao, Public Affairs Officer of the Consulate General of United States in Shanghai, believes the reasons are "complex," but stressed that the American government is "encouraging" American students to come to China to study.

Attendees from US universities share their overseas learning experiences at the event Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy of the Consulate General of United States in Shanghai


Pauline Kao (right) at the event Photo: Courtesy of the Consulate General of United States in Shanghai



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