US sees significant rise in the number of Chinese students

by Ray Clancy on November 24, 2010

Increase in Chinese students projected

There has been a significant rise in the number of Chinese students studying in the US with them now accounting for almost 20% of the international student community.

Nearly 128,000 Chinese students studied in America in the 2009/10 academic year with a 30% increase, according to a study by the Institute of International Education.

Chinese citizens now make up about 19% of the international students in the US, the highest percentage of any country. India and South Korea are next, accounting for 15 and 10%, respectively.

The US has more international students than any other country, welcoming 691,000 last year, up 26% in the past decade. The most popular subjects with foreign students are business and management, followed by engineering, physical and life sciences, mathematics and computer science.

It is estimated that overall, they contribute nearly $20 billion to the US economy through tuition fees, room and board, and other expenses, according to the Department of Commerce.

The University of Southern California, University of Illinois and New York University are the most popular with foreign students, each with more than 7,000 overseas students, the report also shows.

‘A global education prepares them to become leaders in their own countries and societies,’ said Ann Stock, assistant US Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Some educational institutions are actively promoting themselves abroad. One example is Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia where 9% of the new intakes are students from China, up from 6% last year. The college’s chief enrolment officer Jenny Rickard traveled to China last year to promote the elite women’s college.

‘Having foreign students enriches the educational opportunities we are able to provide. It really helps us grow as an institution as by bringing in different perspectives, you learn a lot about yourself,’ she explained.

Thomas Skipper, counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Beijing, said that the US remains the preferred destination for students from China who want to study abroad because of the quality and prestige associated with an American degree.

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