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China Leading Destination for Students?

VU International News and Reviews No. 96 August 28 2017

August 2017

The World Education News & reviews of August 16 contains an article China: Can the World’s Top Source for International Students Become Its Leading Destination? on the chances that China will turn from the major source international students into the major destination of international students in the coming years and decades. China as a source of students has developed from a mere 20 000 students in 2000 to more than 500 000 in 2016, with a projected top of around 800 000 by 2020.

But China is growing – and investing in growth – in numbers of international students coming to China. China wants to have 500 000 international students by 2020 – more than 10% of the global volume.

The WENR article analyses both strengths and weaknesses that may impact China’s road to success or failure in this policy. China actually already shows impressive growth, with more diversity and balance than e.g. the US and the UK, and can boast significant government support – in money and administrative procedures like a visa. On the other hand, China’s political climate, quality issues below the elite universities, language barriers and failing support services may pose obstacles.

In the same issue of WENR, similar trends are discussed in the article Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Korea Remap Regional Student Flows. In Japan, the inflow of students rose from ca 150 000 to ca 220 000 between 2013 and 2016; Malaysia wants to grow from ca 90 000 (2015) to 225 000 by 2025; Taiwan, from ca 110 000 (2015) to 150 000 by 2020. South Korea wants 200 000 by 2023 from the ca 85 000 they had in 2014.

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