In 2016, China witnessed an increase in terms of both the number of students it sent out and accepted. China has sent the most students studying aboard in the world and accepted the largest number of foreign students in Asia, according to the country’s Ministry of Education.
The total number of students studying aboard in 2016 stood at 544,500 and the number of returned personnel after receiving overseas education reached 432,500. Based on incomplete statistics, 80 percent of them choose to return to China for further development after completing the studies.
The distribution of overseas Chinese students was centralized. In 2016, over 90 percent of overseas Chinese students were in the US, the UK, Australia and another 7 countries. In regard of degree level, 70 percent of the students pursued bachelor or above degrees.
Out of the students studying overseas in 2016, 498,200 of them were self-financed, accounting for 91.49 percent of the total number. Since 2012, the percentage of self-financed students maintained at 92 percent.
At the same time, China has become the hottest destination for overseas education in Asia. In 2016, the number of foreign students in China exceeded 440,000, which is an increase of 35 percent on 2012. The number of source countries and regions of foreign students set a record high of 205.
The number of students from countries involved in the China-inspired “Belt and Road” initiative has significantly increased. In 2016, students from the 64 en-route countries of the initiative saw 207,746 students coming to China, representing an increase of 13.6 percent compared with one year before.
Given such trend, the scholarship offered by the Chinese government to foreign students leans towards neighbors and countries along the “Belt and Road”. Among the 49,022 recipients of the scholarship last year, 61 percent of them are from “Belt and Road” countries.
Xu Tao, Director General of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of Ministry of Education said that to support the “Belt and Road” initiative, China will accept 10,000 more students every year from en-route countries.
This year, China will set up a “Silk Road” scholarship to finance foreign students of “Belt and Road” countries to study in China and help train talents for these countries, he added.
By Li Ning from People’s Daily/NewsGhana.com.gh