More money means more Chinese students head to the US

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The Independent Online

The United States has continued to open its doors to Chinese students over the past 12 months and is expecting more and more to take up the chance to further their education overseas.

According to the annual Open Doors report - released Monday and which charts the flow of students in and out of the United States - China sent 98,235 students to the US in the year 2008-09, a rise of just over 21 percent and the second most students to arrive from any nation.

India sent the most students to the US during the last school year - as it has for the past eight years - with 103,260 making the trip, a rise of just over nine percent.

And when it comes to the US and the Chinese education systems, it seems as the though the relationship is proving to be mutually beneficial.

A total of 19,914 American students studied in China last year - moving that country in second place for the first time, behind South Korea, according to figures released by China's Ministry of Education.

The main difference between the two groups was that Chinese students look to stay in the US for the duration of a degree course while American students head to China simply for short-term language studies.

The report also showed that there had been a shift in the type of student coming from China to the US - and type of course they were targeting. Where previously the great majority of Chinese students were graduate students, there are now more undergraduates appearing.

Five years ago, China sent 8,304 undergraduates and 50,976 graduates students to the US, last year those figures were 26,275 and 57,451 respectively.

According to the US-based Institute of International Education, which publishes the Open Doors report, the change has come as China's economy has flourished and more and more parents can afford to send their children overseas to study as undergraduates.

Coming to America

International students studying in the United States at colleges and universities for 2008/09 (percentage change in brackets.

1. India - 103,260 (+9.2 per cent)

2, Mainland China 98,235 (+21.1 percent)

3. South Korea 75,065 (+8.6 percent)

4. Canada 29,697 (+2.2 percent)

5. Japan 29,264 (-13.9 percent)

6. Taiwan 28,065 (-3.2 percent)

7. Mexico 14,850 (+0.1 percent)

8. Turkey 13,263 (+10.2 percent)

9. Vietnam 12,823 (+46.2 percent)

10. Saudi Arabia 12,661 (+28.2 percent)

Figures supplied by Institute of International Education