In the past decade, China has been the driver of international student growth for much of the world. The most popular destination for Chinese students has been the United States. The US is, in fact, the leading destination for all foreign student intake worldwide.
The trend in international education has been for years that students from poorer, less developed, non-Western countries head to famous institutions located in the Western powers. However, as China has been on its meteoric rise, this trend is taking on an interesting dynamic.
In recent years, China is becoming a major player in the international student scene. Students from around the world are recognizing China’s economic rise as an opportunity for potential future career development. Anyone living, working, or studying in China can see that there are more and more foreigners around them. Large portions of these new laowai are these newly recruited students.
With a clear eye on soft power, educational leaders in China are pushing for even more of their share of these students. The goal is to have a half million by 2020. The ramifications from this new dynamic in the international educational sector are unclear. Will we see a large dip in foreign student numbers in once popular destinations in the West? Can China really attract as many students (or close to) as the United States?
What is certain is that this is an exciting time for those interested in China and/or international education.
This infographic illustrates these international education facts on China, condensed in an easier to read graphical layout.
Ryan Allen is the Communication Specialist for American International Education Development (AIED) Council. This non-profit organization connects students and educators in the US to their counterparts in China. You can read more about their organization at their website: aied-edu.org, and follow them on twitter: @AIEDCouncil. Allen is also an adjunct lecturer at Berkeley College, and is researching Politics and Education at Teachers College of Columbia University.