Knowing China through Taiwan

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US graduate programs see influx of Chinese applicants

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2012-04-05
  • 08:30 (GMT+8)
Schools from the United States, Britain and Canada solicit Chinese students at an education fair in Beijing. (Photo/Xinhua)

Schools from the United States, Britain and Canada solicit Chinese students at an education fair in Beijing. (Photo/Xinhua)

A new survey from the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States shows that students from China continue to flood graduate programs in the US. Chinese applicants to American master's and doctoral programs that begin this fall grew by 18% since last year, marking the seventh consecutive double-digit increase.

The survey, which was based on data provided by 242 respondents, showed that a total of 514,298 applications were sent to US graduate schools by prospective international students, a 9% increase from last year's figure. Of these applicants, 47% came from China; these students were mostly interested in programs in engineering, business and earth sciences. Applications other countries grew very little, and those from Taiwan and South Korea decreased by 2% and 1%, respectively.

The rapid growth is the result of China's booming economy, reported the Wall Street Journal. More Chinese parents are able to support expensive overseas education for their children, while firms in China are interested in hiring local talent with exposure to western countries.

Meanwhile, as more Chinese students attend schools in the US, they encourage their friends and colleagues to apply, which creates a multiplier effect.

The ease of acquiring student visas has also contributed to the surge. In recent few years, most Chinese students able to pay for their education can obtain visas, while luck of the draw has been the chief method in the past.

What is more, many schools have taken steps to reach out to Chinese students specifically. Ohio State University set up a gateway office in Shanghai to handle recruitment, fundraising and alumni activities; its population of Chinese students jumped by 29% this year.

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