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Why International Students Prefer to Study Abroad China

June 9, 2020 | Alfred_Smith

The Rise of International Students in China

in 2019, over 500,000 International students studied in China, a figure The boom in Chinese students studying abroad continues, while more and more International Students prefer to study in China. China has become Asia’s largest destination for students from abroad. The main reason is that China is attractive to the world. So what countries and regions are these students coming from? And why are Chinese Universities becoming so popular?

China’s rapid development for nearly 40 years, educational cooperation with different countries (regions), and international organizations in the world have increased access for international students. The results we see today are a spike in the global ranking of Chinese Universities and an increasing Chinese foreign influence and competitiveness of education. According to statistics, in 2017, international students from a total of 204 countries studied in over 935 institutions of higher education in China. China is already Asia’s largest destination country to study abroad.

To understand more about the increasing reputation of Chinese institutions, we should first look at the Chinese economy in the past few decades. The issues will give a good explanation of how Chinese universities managed to attract many international students.

Economic trends in China

China has been making spectacular developments in recent decades. Economically, demographically and socially. The current rate of Innovation and efficiency was achieved through the privatization of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s, the migration of hundreds of millions of people to the city, and the structural shift of the economy to the services sector. 800 Million Chinese are in the middle-income bracket is an indication of tremendous economic power.

The economic boom brought about jobs and opportunities that are appealing to young people.

Transformation of the Chinese economy

In the late 1970s, China’s economy primarily focused on the agricultural sector, with more than 80 percent of the population – often in poverty – settled in rural areas. Now, more than 40 years later, a wave of urbanization has taken place, and a chunk of the population lives mainly in large cities. The transformation of the agricultural economy that was fully state-regulated into the current innovative, partly market-led economy had several phases.

Innovation is the backbone of the Chinese economy with government support and favorable policies. Young people thrive in such an environment.

Exports and production stimulate growth.

When the Chinese government changed course in 1978, the Chinese economy was not in good terms. More than 70% of the population was employed in the agricultural sector, contributing only a third to GDP. A significant reform of the economy was the solution: the borders opened to foreign trade, and the production sector grew.

Because the industry was much more productive than agriculture, exports and production became the biggest driver of Chinese economic growth. In the mid-1980s, foreign investment was also allowed. Investment focused on the further development of infrastructure and industry. The big tipping point for the Chinese economy came in the 1990s with the privatization of a large number of state-owned enterprises.

International students who are interested in logistics, international trade, e-commerce, etc., have a considerable interest in studying in China. It is easy to get Internships in these areas to build their CVs.

Shanghai becomes an international financial hub.

In the past years, the foundations were laid for today’s innovative China. Thanks to the privatization battle, public spending fell sharply, and further investment made in the development of the service and production sectors. Partly because of its convenient location on the bank of the Yangtze River, Shanghai experienced enormous growth in the 1990s.

The development of the production and service sectors led to an increasing increase in the population working in these sectors. Between 1990 and 2000, the population in Shanghai grew by 6 million people, and the city gained the status of an international financial hub in those years.

Beijing and Shanghai have so far become the hottest destinations to study in China.

Integrating high-tech into production and services

Today, China is not only the world’s largest producer in sectors such as textiles, chemicals, cement, and steel but also contributes to the significant exports of industries such as electronics, shipbuilding, and automobiles. Recently, China’s high-tech production has even overtaken that of the United States on multiple fronts. China’s goal is to integrate the innovative high-tech industry into more traditional sectors to create a more qualitative growth potential.

Also, the investment flows – both from abroad to China and vice versa – are among the largest worldwide. Partly because of this, the service industry has been able to grow into China’s leading sector from 2011, which now employs almost half of the population.

Focus on Innovation and entrepreneurship

The focus on Innovation and entrepreneurship leads to opportunities for companies and startups – especially in Shanghai and its surroundings where you have special ‘High-Tech Development Zones.’ That is the reason why there are so many gems in China – including Ant Financial, NIO, RED (Xiaohongshu), and United Imaging Healthcare.

The Chinese government is pushing for a reform of the economy. The economy focuses more on innovative production rather than mass production, and on domestic consumption (the Made in China 2025 policy).

Quality Educational System

Since China has become so strong economically in the past few decades, the Chinese education saw a massive investment and capacity building. China increased its budget for education, and this leads to an enormous advance in world rankings when it looked at top universities in the world. Not only because of the economy but also because of the internationalization of Chinese Education. Many foreigners are interested in studying in China due to the high quality of education, and the appealing experience that these students can have in China. Check out the reasons why most students prefer to study their master degree in China

Chinese science policy is paying off

For the first time, two Chinese universities are in the Shanghai Ranking, an annual academic world ranking of best university institutions.

Tsinghua University in Beijing ranked at 23, Peking University at 24. A few years ago, the rise of Chinese science as reported by a special edition of the journal Nature on ‘Science in China.’ The figures from this publication speak volumes: China has more researchers than the United States and invests more in research and Innovation than the European Union.

So it was only a matter of time before investment in Chinese science would become visible in rankings such as the Shanghai Ranking. Although the list is compiled in Shanghai, this is done independently of universities and government institutions. Note that Chinese universities have not been in this top 100 before 2016—the same ranking reflected in the Timer Higher Education Ranking and QS World University ranking tables.

What are the best universities in China?

China is home to most of the best universities in Asia. Essentially, their universities are great and excellent. The best universities in China, however, are Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, and Sichuan University. Check the table below for more information on Chinese University ranking.

What are the best research universities in China?

When it comes to research, China is exceptional because it continuously crosses the boundaries of creativity. Today, a large number of innovations come from China, which is a testament to their fast growth. So, the best research universities in China are Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

What are the best foreign language universities in China?

The primary language spoken in China is Chinese, but some causes are taught in English and other languages. The liberal art courses feature foreign languages like German, Arabic, French, English, and many others. For this reason, some universities in China allow students who can speak specific foreign languages such as English. Above all, the best foreign language universities in China are Tsinghua University, Sichuan University, the Harbin Institute of Technology, and the University of Hong Kong.

Top universities in China 2020

Click on each institution to see its full World University Rankings 2020 results

China Rank 2020  World University Rank 2020  University Province/Area
1  23 Tsinghua University Beijing
2  24 Peking University Beijing
3  =80 University of Science and Technology of China Anhui
4  =107 Zhejiang University Zhejiang
5  109 Fudan University Shanghai
6  =144 Nanjing University Jiangsu
7  =157 Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai
8  251–300 Sun Yat-sen University Guangdong
=9  301–350 Beijing Normal University Beijing
=9  301–350 Huazhong University of Science and Technology Hubei
=9  301–350 Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) Guangdong
=12  351–400 Nankai University Tianjin
=12  351–400 Wuhan University Hubei
=14  401–500 Central South University Hunan
=14  401–500 Harbin Institute of Technology Heilongjiang
=14  401–500 Hunan University Hunan
=14  401–500 Tongji University Shanghai
=18  501–600 Beihang University Beijing
=18  501–600 East China Normal University Shanghai
=18  501–600 Renmin University of China Beijing
=18  501–600 Shenzhen University Guangdong
=18  501–600 Soochow University Jiangsu
=18  501–600 South China University of Technology Guangdong
=18  501–600 Southeast University Jiangsu
=18  501–600 Tianjin University Tianjin
=18  501–600 Xiamen University Fujian
=18  501–600 Xi’an Jiaotong University Shaanxi
=28  601–800 Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing
=28  601–800 China Agricultural University Beijing
=28  601–800 China University of Petroleum, Beijing Beijing
=28  601–800 Dalian University of Technology Liaoning
=28  601–800 East China University of Science and Technology Shanghai
=28  601–800 University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Sichuan
=28  601–800 Huazhong Agricultural University Hubei
=28  601–800 University of International Business and Economics Beijing
=28  601–800 Jiangsu Normal University Jiangsu
=28  601–800 Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology Jiangsu
=28  601–800 Nanjing Medical University Jiangsu
=28  601–800 Nanjing Normal University Jiangsu
=28  601–800 Northwestern Polytechnical University Shaanxi
=28  601–800 Shandong University Shandong
=28  601–800 Sichuan University Sichuan
=43  801–1000 Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing
=43  801–1000 Capital Medical University Beijing
=43  801–1000 China University of Geosciences, Beijing Beijing
=43  801–1000 China University of Geosciences, Wuhan Hubei
=43  801–1000 China University of Mining and Technology Beijing
=43  801–1000 China Pharmaceutical University Jiangsu
=43  801–1000 Chongqing University Chongqing
=43  801–1000 Fuzhou University Fuzhou
=43  801–1000 Guangdong University of Technology Guangdong
=43  801–1000 Jiangsu University Jiangsu
=43  801–1000 Jilin University Jilin
=43  801–1000 Jinan University Guangdong
=43  801–1000 Nanjing Agricultural University Jiangsu
=43  801–1000 Nanjing Tech University Jiangsu
=43  801–1000 Northeastern University Liaoning
=43  801–1000 Northeast Normal University Jilin
=43  801–1000 Northwest University Shaanxi
=43  801–1000 NorthWest A&F University Shaanxi
=43  801–1000 University of Science and Technology Beijing Beijing
=43  801–1000 Shanghai University Jiangsu
=43  801–1000 Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) Shanghai
=43  801–1000 Shanghai Maritime University Shanghai
=43  801–1000 Shantou University Guangdong
=43  801–1000 Southwestern University of Finance and Economics Sichuan
=43  801–1000 Wuhan University of Technology Hubei
=43  801–1000 Xiangtan University Hunan
=43  801–1000 Xidian University Shaanxi
=43  801–1000 Yangzhou University Jiangsu
=71  1001+ Guangxi University Guangxi
=71  1001+ Huaqiao University Fujian
=71  1001+ Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Nanjing
=71  1001+ North China Electric Power University Beijing
=71  1001+ Ocean University of China Shangdong
=71  1001+ University of South China Hunan
=71  1001+ Southern Medical University Baiyun District
=71  1001+ Southwest Jiaotong University Sichuan
=71  1001+ Wenzhou Medical University Wenzhou
=71  1001+ Yanshan University Hebei
=71  1001+ Zhejiang University of Technology Zhejiang

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