The Rebound: China’s Universities Reopen To The World

China is back! After a long period of lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has now fully reopened its borders and is warmly welcoming international students to its universities. Thousands of students worldwide are coming to China to pursue their academic dreams and experience the rich culture and history of this ancient civilization.


A Look-Back at Pre-Covid Numbers

In recent years, China has become one of the world’s leading destinations for international education. Before the pandemic, in 2019, there were just under 500,000 international students enrolled in universities in China. They came from over 200 countries and regions, with the majority from South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, India, and the United States.

However, the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 meant that many international students who were in China had to leave the country or stay in isolation, while those who were outside China could not enter or return to continue their studies.

The Rebound

New students during Orientation at East China Normal University (Image: @east_china_normal_university via Instagram)

Now, China is bouncing back. With the successful containment of the virus and the rollout of vaccines, China has gradually resumed issuing visas for international students since August 2020.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

One of the main drivers of China’s attractiveness for international students is its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This global development strategy aims to enhance connectivity and cooperation among countries along the ancient Silk Road routes. The BRI has created many opportunities for education exchange and collaboration between China and its partner countries, especially in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central Asia. Many students from these regions are interested in learning the Chinese language and culture, as well as gaining skills and knowledge relevant to the BRI projects.

Climbing the Global Ranks 

Chinese universities have ranked highly in global rankings this year, which shows their quality and reputation in the international academic community. Other factors that make Chinese universities attractive for international students are their diversity of programs, their affordability, their scholarships and funding opportunities, their research and innovation potential, their cultural and social activities, and their connections with industry and government. We can help you learn more about these factors and how they can benefit your study and career goals.

Universities Welcome Students Back

Take a peek into campus life with these images and videos of international students who recently arrived in China for this semester, as posted on the respective university’s social media channels.

Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU)

“HKMU’s Campus Life Induction 2023, organized by SAO, was a huge success on August 17th! 🎉 Check out how the student societies welcomed the freshmen with irresistible enthusiasm”@hkmusao [HKMU’s Student Affairs Office] on Instagram

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU)

XJTLU welcomed new students with campus orientation events and the XJTLU 2023 Opening Ceremony.  Images: @xjtlu on Instagram

United International College (UIC) 

More than 2,000 first-year students have arrived at UIC since 24 August 2023, the start of the new academic year, with hopes and aspirations to begin their journey of liberal arts education. The new students come from 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and international students from the US, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Indonesia and Cambodia. Images: on Instagram

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University recently welcomed over 3,800 undergraduate students from 32 regions around the world and over 2,000 postgraduate students over a series of orientation activities and the Opening Ceremony 2023. Images: @tsinghua_uni via Instagram

Peking University

On September 6 and 8, PKU rolled out a warm welcome to over 300 international exchange and visiting students, ushering them into a vibrant community through a series of experiential orientation activities. – Peking University via Youtube

How China Admissions Can Help You

If you are one of those students eager to study in China, you are not alone. At China Admissions, we are here to help you find your ideal university and program in China. We also have a network of alumni and current students who share their insights and experiences. Find their stories on our blog and Youtube channel.

Whether you want to study Chinese language, engineering, business, medicine, or any other field, we can help you find the best fit for your goals and budget. We can also help you to apply and make your transition to China smooth and easy.

Don’t miss this opportunity to study in one of the most dynamic and diverse countries in the world. Get started by browsing the platforms to find your dream program, or schedule a free call with one of our student advisors to discuss your options.


Kay contributes to the Marketing team at China Admissions. A "third-culture kid" based in Thailand, she has had lifelong exposure to international communities and has worked with top global brands. Having studied abroad herself, she encourages young minds to invest in their self-development and foster an appreciation for new countries and cultures.
Kay M

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