With a desire for Chinese culture and the pursuit of professional learning, Tam Yuyuan, a Malaysian-Chinese boy, came to China to study after graduating from high school. After four years of undergraduate studies at Shih Hsin University in Taiwan, he moved to Beijing Normal University to pursue his Master’s degree. Now in his third year of his PhD, this is his tenth year in China.
Data from the Ministry of Education shows that in 2016, the number of international students arriving in China reached 443,000, an increase of 11.35% over 2015 which is eight times the number at the beginning of the century. The international influence of Chinese education has been strengthening in recent years, and China is now the largest destination country for study in Asia. During the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said that by 2049, Chinese education will be firmly established at the center of world education and China will become the world’s most desired destination for education abroad. You can choose Visa Express document authentication service for your China study.
What is the study and living situation of international students in China? What kind of protection does China provide for international students in China? How can China become the world’s most desirable destination for international students? Our reporters interviewed international students in China and relevant officials of the Ministry of Education. Here’s what we found out:
The Structure of Study Abroad is Constantly Optimized
In recent years, China has consolidated its educational cooperation with different countries (regions) and international organizations, and implemented the “One Belt, One Road” education initiative, which has increased the international influence and competitiveness of Chinese education.
At present, China has become the largest destination country in Asia. Not only has the scale of study in China expanded dramatically, but also the level, structure and categories have been optimized, showing a new development trend.
According to the Report on the Development of Study in China (2017) released recently, the countries related to the Belt and Road have become the growth points of study in China in the academic year of 2016 to 2017. Among them, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Laos had an average increase of more than 20% in the number of international students coming to China. According to the analysis of the report, China has made a major breakthrough in the policy of supporting students coming to China and granting scholarships to students coming to the country, and a series of favorable policies have been introduced, such as promoting the education initiative of “One Belt, One Road”, establishing the “One Belt, One Road” university alliance, signing bilateral agreements and mutual recognition of degrees, and signing the “One Belt, One Road” university alliance. Bilateral agreements and mutual recognition of degrees, and the establishment of “Silk Road” Chinese government scholarships, etc.
In addition, foreign students in China have broken the pattern of mainly studying the Chinese language, and the distribution of disciplines has become more reasonable, with Western medicine, engineering, economics and management being the most popular disciplines with the largest number of students.
Cheng Ying, executive director of the World Class University Research Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, analyzed that in recent years, the sources of foreign students coming to China have become more diversified. Expanding from the Asian, African and Latin American countries to other countries in the world, the proportion of developed countries in Europe and America has increased. As a result, the choice of majors for foreign students coming to China has become more diverse, extending from subjects with high relevance to China such as the Chinese language and Chinese medicine in the past to many other disciplines such as science, agriculture and engineering; the structure of foreign students coming to China has become more reasonable, with a high proportion of non-academic students coming to China for short-term language study in the past, and a significant increase in the proportion of academic students coming to China for their degree study now.
This is not only an inevitable result of China’s economic development and comprehensive strength, but also the remarkable result of the continuous positive and steady promotion of the study of China’s program, as mentioned by the head of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchange of the Ministry of Education, indicating that the continuous growth of the scale and optimization of the structure marks the significant increase of the attractiveness of studying in China.
More Security for Study And Employment | Why study in China ?
More than a year ago, an article “Foreign Students’ Job Hunting in China” attracted people’s attention. This article described the twists and turns and difficulties of foreign students seeking jobs in China, and the data collected from the first Job Fair for International Students in China in 2016 showed that as many as 95% of the international students who participated in the fair wished to stay in China for work. Today, what is the employment situation of international students in China?
On January 5, Andrei, an international student from Nankai University, attended a special job fair for international students of Nankai University 2018. At this job fair, Chinese companies offered a variety of positions to international students, such as market development, legal contract, personnel administration and project management. Andrei from Kazakhstan thinks that there are many excellent enterprises and has great room for development in China.
In early 2017, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, issued the Notice on Matters Relating to Allowing Outstanding Foreign College Graduates to Work in China, which relaxed the conditions for foreign college graduates to work in China, so that some eligible outstanding foreign college graduates can work in China without work experience.
In addition to ensuring employment and entrepreneurship for foreign students, China has paid more attention to the daily management of students coming to China. The Measures for the Admission and Training of International Students in Schools, which came into effect in July last year, provides scientific regulations on the management of study in China in terms of enrollment, teaching, on-campus management, scholarship, social management, supervision and management. This is the highest level of regulations for study in China. Management cadres have benefited from it; the central government has continuously increased the investment in Chinese government scholarships, with nearly 49,000 Chinese government scholarship students studying in China in 2016.
In recent years, China has basically established a full-chain policy system in terms of enrollment and teaching management, scholarship system, medical insurance system and emergency management system.
A Long Way To go To Achieve the Goal
Will China become the world’s most desired destination for study abroad? Will Chinese education become the world center of education?
According to scholars, the answer seems to be yes, judging from the rapid growth of international students coming to China in the past five years and the rapid rise in the ranking of Chinese universities. At the same time, the gap between Chinese education and that of the developed countries in the world must be seen soberly, and there is a long way to go to achieve this goal.
This gap can be seen through a set of data: among international students coming to China in 2016, 47.42% received academic education and only 14.42% were Master’s and Doctoral students. In contrast, the number of Chinese students studying abroad in 2016 was 544,500, of which more than 70% pursued undergraduate education or above, and master and doctoral students accounted for 35.51%.
At present, there are still shortcomings of “unbalanced development of scale and quality, unbalanced development level among schools and unbalanced development pattern among regions”, and the education of studying abroad in China faces many challenges as compared with those of developed countries in the international higher education market. “There are certain gaps in the quality of courses, and the level of services and management needs to be further improved. And the work we are doing is to strive for balanced development, insist on giving equal importance to scale and quality, pay more attention to quality, and promote the connotative development of study in China.”
In the next step, China will encourage more outstanding students to study in China and promote the fast track of humanistic exchanges between China and foreign countries; strengthen the construction of the standard system and quality assurance mechanism for education and management of study in China, and encourage third-party industry organizations to formulate industry association certification standards; integrate international exchanges, cooperative schooling, base construction, Chinese language promotion and other forms of cooperation, and increase the publicity of study in China, as well as enhance the integration of international students in China into Chinese society through cultural experience activities such as “Study in China” and “Perceive China”.