Chinese Students Heading To America


2017 will be a banner year for about 700,000 students from China studying abroad. America can expect to get the majority of them.

The total of Chinese students coming to America to study will reach 375,000 in 2017, nearly twice the total in 2011. By 2020 there will be nearly 450,00 students here. Chinese students account for one in three of all the foreign students in America.

These Chinese students are part of an ever expanding internationalization of education.

In 2015, according to, over 5 million students were studying outside their home countries, more than triple the number in 1990; one in six of the total were Chinese.

There was a time when only college age Chinese children headed off for a college education abroad. Now they are leaving China at much younger ages. The number of Chinese high schoolers coming to America has increased 60 times since 2005, to about 40,000.

According to the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, 57% of Chinese parents would send their offspring abroad if they could afford it.

This phenomenon isn’t just occurring in America. In Britain, the Chinese secondary-school pupils are increasing faster than those of any other nationality. This influx of Chinese students into Britain and other countries has created an educational side effect. It has raised the national exam results of the host countries to higher levels since Chinese students consistently score above the national average of their host countries.

Their academic excellence has created an international contest for young Chinese minds.

In Australia, where one in four international students are Chinese, they have simplified their visa application and now lets students apply in Mandarin. This, as more and more educational institutions from around the world are actively recruiting in China.

It appears that China’s new class struggle will be how to retain their students or get them to return to their homeland.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, “Of the 4 million Chinese who have gone to study abroad since 1978, half have not returned, (and even more by some unofficial counts).”

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