440,000 Foreign Students Studied in China in 2016

There are now 440,000 foreign students in China,according to recently announced MOE figures. This is an increase of 11.4% from 2015 when there were less than 400,000 foreign students in China.

There has been a number of official policies to help increase the attractiveness of foreign students in China. Such as making it easier for foreign students to work in China and increasing the number of scholarships. There are now over 50,000 students in China studying with a scholarship.

One Belt One Road 

One key policy China is carrying out is the One Belt One Road initiative. This is giving 10,000 scholarships each year to international students along the One Belt One Road countries. There are 60 countries involved in this initiative, including the countries below. Tanzania in Africa has recently joined the initiative.

One Belt One Road Scholarships
One Belt One Road initiative is a development plan along China’s historic silk road and maritime trading route.

The Statistics

The countries with the most foreign students coming to China are:

  1. South Korea
  2. USA
  3. Thailand
  4. Pakistan
  5. India
  6. Russia
  7. Indonesia
  8. Kazakhstan
  9. Japan
  10. Vietnam

The most notable changes since 2012 are India and Pakistan which have risen from 8 and 9 respectively. Japan has dropped from 3 to 9 in the same period.

Changes in Student Types

Overall, China Admissions is seeing a shift in the types of students coming to China. Firstly, more and more students choosing to study degree programs such as MBBS, Medicine and Engineering. Secondly, students are attracted in second and third tier cities where the cost of living is cheaper. An example of this is Northwest University in Xi’an, and Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang.

Of the 440,000, there are 210,000 students studying Bachelor’s degree, and 64,000 studying Master’s or PhD. There is a also a relative decrease in the number of students coming to learn Chinese. The remaining students include 130,000 foreign students who are studying at kindergartens, primary and middle schools.


China Becomes More Attractive

The continued increase shows in foreign students coming to China, is coupled with Chinese Universities rapidly rising up the rankings. China is also attracting a record number of overseas Chinese to come back to China.

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