Overseas Students

The number of foreigners wanting to study in China has been rising by approximately 20% annually since the reform and opening period began. According to official government figures 195,503 overseas students from 188 countries and regions came to study on the mainland in 2007 although the number is believed to be somewhere around the 300,000 region, because the government's figures do not include students studying at private language schools. This makes China the world's sixth-largest study abroad destination.

According to reports, South Korea, Japan, The United States, Vietnam and Thailand were the five biggest source countries, and the number of students from European source countries is increasing. Currently the Chinese government offers over 10,000 scholarships to foreign students, though this is set to rise by approximately 3,000 within the next year.

International students are increasingly studying in China. China's economy is improving more quickly than had been predicted, i.e. sizable economic growth by 2015 has been predicted as opposed to 2050. China has already drawn the attention of the West for its growth rates, and the 2008 Olympic Games and Shanghai Expo 2010 have intensified this positive attention. Another factor that draws students to China is the considerably lower cost of living in China compared to most western countries. Finally, major cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai already have a strong international presence.

Currently China has around 1,000 colleges and universities. Leading universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Fudan University, have already gained international reputation for outstanding teaching and research facilities. China has signed agreements with almost 40 countries such as France, Great Britain, the United States, Russia, etc., to recognize select diplomas. Many Chinese universities such as United International College now offer degrees in English enabling students with no knowledge of Chinese language to study there.