Chinese studying abroad sees decrease this year

Updated: Jun 17, 2024 By Zhao Yimeng chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Although the United States is one of the main destinations for Chinese students' undergraduate studies abroad, there have been fewer undergraduate students from the Chinese mainland in recent years, according to a white paper released by overseas education consultancy EIC Education.

The White Paper on Undergraduate Chinese Students Studying Abroad was released on Saturday, aiming to provide a planning blueprint for Chinese students pursuing higher education globally after the national college entrance examination, or gaokao.

In the 2022–23 academic year, more than one-third of Chinese mainland students in the US were undergraduates, reaching 100,349 and declining from 148,880 in the 2018–19 academic year, according to figures from the Open Doors 2023 Report on International Educational Exchange.

While China remains the largest source of international students in the US, the gap with the second-place country, India, is narrowing, with the total number of Chinese mainland students in the US seeing a slight decrease of 0.2 percent compared to the previous academic year, the white paper said.

EIC Education's customer service data from 2021 to 2023 shows that the top three undergraduate majors are Computer Science, Economics, and General Business, followed by Communication and Media Studies, Mathematics, and Finance.

"Safety" is the primary consideration for students when choosing their destinations for studying abroad, while "education quality" and "university rankings" are also important factors, the white paper said.

Gaokao scores are being recognized by an increasing number of overseas universities for direct undergraduate admissions. For instance, more than 40 universities in the United Kingdom, including the University of Cambridge, and over 20 universities in Australia accept Gaokao scores, according to the white paper.

EIC's survey data indicates that over 80 percent of Chinese students plan to have an internship during their undergraduate studies abroad. Moreover, 34.5 percent of undergraduates would like to pursue a master's degree, while 35.7 percent aim to seek employment.

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