Nearly 90% of all Chinese students return home after studying abroad: MOE
Published: Dec 15, 2020 08:39 PM

Some Chinese students celebrate graduation in New York. Photo: IC

The number of Chinese students returning home reached 580,300 in 2019, up 11.73 percent year-on-year, the latest data released by Ministry of Education of China (MOE) showed, while the number of students studying abroad also increased by 6.25 percent to 703,500.

Studying abroad has become a very common occurrence for Chinese students. Since China's reform and opening-up in 1978, over 6.56 million Chinese students had studied overseas, and among them, about 1.6 million Chinese students are still studying or completing research abroad, according to data released by MOE on Monday.

From 1978-2019, among the 6.56 million Chinese students, 4.9 million of them have completed their study, and 86 percent returned to China after graduating, according to MOE.

Besides, the tide of students studying internationally fell hard due to the coronavirus as well as China-US tensions this year. 

Tang Qitao, an 18-year-old freshman from Wenzhou-based Wenzhou-Kean University, received offers in July from seven US universities before finally giving up due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.

"I would like to widen my horizons by studying abroad," Tang told the Global Times, but instead he chose a Sino-foreign cooperative education mechanism as he found the study mode and campus environment to be quite good despite the school being located within China. 

Another Chinese student surnamed Gu, studying at the London College of Communication, majoring in MA photojournalism and documentary photography, went back to China in August also due to the UK's deteriorating pandemic situation. 

Wang Li, president of Wenzhou-Kean University, told the Global Times that this year's pandemic most certainly "increased the difficulties" for Chinese students studying abroad as well as Chinese-foreign cooperative universities because international communication came to a halt amid the virus, adding that other study modes could become more popular among students.