Shanghai sees a decrease in the number of overseas students from 60,000 to 40,000
Published: Apr 12, 2021 08:28 PM
Overseas students try the local street food in Shanghai on Saturday. Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Overseas students try the local street food in Shanghai. Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Shanghai has seen a decrease in the number of overseas students from 60,000 to 38,800 including those enrolled in universities studying degrees and non-degrees such as short-term language learning programs, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Huang Meixu, director of the Shanghai Institute of Higher Education for Foreign Students, told the Global Times on Monday.

The decrease is "reasonable," Huang said, noting that for some overseas students, they probably would seek "a short-term program for language in China, however, they might give up on their plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

As a global financial hub, Shanghai has become one of the most popular studying destinations for overseas students. Despite the pandemic, the number of overseas students studying in Shanghai enrolled in degrees stood at 24,000, steadily accounting for around 60 percent of the total number of overseas students, Wu Yingjun, director of the international exchange office of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, said during a conference on Monday.

Jet lag has become a major challenge for overseas students who have to take online classes, Huang said, noting that many schools have been seeking measures to ensure students still have good learning experiences. For example, East China Normal University asked teachers to give one to one services for students with questions.

Also, the county has stepped up it plans to build international joint-venture learning programs, with 580 schools and programs jointly run by Chinese and overseas education institutions put on record by the Ministry of Education, including 356 joint-venture universities by the end of 2020, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Huang noted that one of the biggest challenges is that students can't go back to study, especially those students who will graduate, but they still need to take part in thesis practices to finish their study. 

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