Annual Report on the Development of China’s Study Abroad (2015) No.4



Since the National Study Abroad Work Conference held in the end of 2014, giving equal emphasis to Chinese studying abroad and foreigners studying abroad in China has become an important concept for overseeing oversea study work. To reflect on this new situation and the character of China oversea study development as well as to analyze hot issues that have emerged in this process, we have organized this collection of work entitled《Annual Report on the Development of Chinese Students Studying Abroad (2015) No.4》. The Blue Book consists of five parts:  General Report, Investigative Reports, Regional Reports, Feature Reports, and an Appendix.

The General Report first reviews the development of global overseas study and its trends.  It then identifies the current situation and developmental features of Chinese studying abroad.  These consist of the rapid increase in the number of Chinese students, including teenagers and even younger children, studying overseas, job-oriented oversea study, innovative modes of study abroad, and the growing diversity of overseas study destination countries. It also offers an in-depth understanding of issues like student integrity, drop-out rates, and racial quotas. This paper will provide suggestions on narrowing the “study abroad deficit”, strengthening China’s soft power not just through having its student study abroad, but foreigners study in the country, and exploiting ”study abroad bonuses” to promote the sustainable development of both of these kinds of overseas study.

The Investigative Report is divided into three sections. The first part will analyze current situation and related issues of young Chinese studying overseas.  It then provides recommendations to address these issues. Based on a questionnaire survey of overseas Chinese students who went abroad in 2007-2014, the second part will describe the worldwide distribution of these students as well as their study goals, channels for acquiring information about foreign schools, and the like.  The last section will investigate Chinese students studying in the United States, focusing on their desire to study there and experience of living on the campuses of American schools and universities.

The Regional Report will introduce the current situation and prospects of Chinese students studying in North America, Europe, Australian, and Asia, respectively, through reviewing the numbers and prevalence of Chinese getting an education in these places, the preferences of such individuals regarding study subjects/majors, advantages they obtain by being educated in specific countries, and international student policies of such places.  By reviewing these issues, the report seeks to identify international study hotspots.

The Feature Report consists of six papers analyzing study abroad across six different areas. The first area is studying abroad in China, focusing mainly on the current situation, policy breakthroughs, and further measures aimed overcoming the remaining challenges China faces in luring international students doing study abroad in China. The second paper will emphasize the current prospects of Overseas Chinese students who went abroad to do postgraduate work in 2011. We examine how many returned to China and success in finding good employment before offering a policy brief for carrying forth Sino foreign cooperative educational ventures to cultivate entrepreneurial talent. The paper also summarizes 2015-2016 trends in student application strategies for overseas study in the main destination countries. The fifth paper is an exploratory study on Dutch higher education and Chinese students studying in the Netherlands. It provides a systematic discussion of the Dutch master’s degree and Ph.D program training methods. The last paper reviews research on the current operation, development, and competitiveness of Chinese study abroad intermediary institutions. Based on a three tier indicator assessment system, it evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of 40 these intermediary institutions.

As a supplement to the Regional Report, the Appendix discusses what universities have a worldwide reputation based on their international student enrollment, popular subjects, scholarship, and affordability of tuition.


BI General Report

B.1 Chinese Studying Abroad in an Era of Globalization; Luring more International Students to China    Wang Huiyao, Miao lv, Zheng Jinlian

1.New Characteristics of Global Oversea Study Development in 2014    

2.The Status Quo and Characteristics of Chinese Students Studying Abroad in 2014                                               

3.Enhancing China’s Soft Power and Accelerating the Development of Study Abroad in China                                          


The worldwide transnational flow of students has become the focus of attention for universities and policy makers alike. The economic growth of middle income countries with increasingly larger middle classes has boosted the demand for study abroad.  At the same time, the 2008-2009 economic crisis led Western countries to implement fiscal austerity, curtailing public backing for higher education, forcing universities to become more interested in overseas students, who could serve as an important source of revenue.  This development has been paralleled by the implementation of new scholarship programs for foreign students and shifts in related immigration policies as awareness rises about the usefulness of these migrants in developing new economic growth activities.  As the world’s largest exporter of students, China has seen a rapid increase in the number of Chinese studying overseas in recent years, including not just at the university, but high school level as well.  The destination countries for these students have also shifted markedly over this period, while issues regarding student integrity, drop-out rates, and racial quotas for study abroad have all become major concerns.  Based on an of global and Chinese overseas study, this paper will provide suggestions on narrowing the study "deficit ", enhancing China’s soft power, accelerating the development of study abroad in China, and developing “study abroad bonuses.”

Key words: Study abroad development trend, young students studying abroad, the soft power of studying abroad, studying abroad in China.

BII Investigative Reports

B.2 Young Chinese Studying Overseas:  Current Situation and Related Issues    Miao Lv, Zheng Jinlian, Wang Jianfang

Abstract:As the education industry becomes more globalized, Chinese students are increasingly studying overseas at a younger age.  The number of very young Chinese receiving schooling in overseas countries has risen significantly, while their destination countries have become more varied.  This paper describes the development of young Chinese people studying abroad and then reviews the changing goals of high school students in studying abroad.  It also provides a more detailed treatment of the following issues:  comparison of international student policies in different countries, parents who accompany their children studying overseas, cheating on examinations, and purchasing real estate overseas as a part of the overseas seducaton process.

Key Words: Young Overseas Students; Willingness to Study Abroad;Cheating on Examinations; Parent Companionship

B.3 Investigating Postgraduae Students Studying Abroad in 2014   Zheng Jinlian, Li Miaomiao, Dong Qingqian

Abstract: According to a joint survey by CCG and MyCOS, the percentage of China’s university graduates going abroad to do post-graduate work increased in 2014. College graduates choose to study abroad to enhance their skills while acquiring a postgraduate degree.  Self-funding is still the major source of financing overseas study, making family support very important.  Domestic agencies and websites of foreign universities serve as the main sources of information regarding study abroad for university graduates. Although Chinese students studying abroad in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia have important shared characteristics, they do display marked differences on specific issues.

Key Words: University Graduates; Studying Abroad; Reasons for Studying Abroad; Source of Funding

B.4 Goals and Choices of Chinese Students Studying in the United States   Zhao Chengnan, Li Xiaojie, Li Wei, Yu Wan

Abstract: Since the start of the 21th century, the total number of Chinese students studying overseas has been growing dramatically. China has become the biggest source of foreign students studying in the United States. In addition to the growing number of such students, corresponding structural changes have occurred in the international student population. This paper focuses on Chinese students who are already studying in the United States.  It provides an in-depth understanding of the socio-demographics of these individuals, analyzing their family and educational backgrounds.  In discussing the latter, we review the high schools these students attended prior to studying abroad, their choice of majors for study at universities, and attitudes toward joint Chinese-American higher education programs.  We also review how Chinese students are funding their study abroad.  After tackling these issues, the paper sets forth the practical implications of its results for Chinese students and their parents as well as American college recruitment policy-makers. Lastly, this paper discusses the impact of changing U.S. foreign student policies on the number, structure, and regional distribution of Chinese students.

Keywords: Studying in the U.S, Motivation for Studying Overseas, Study Abroad Choices

BIII Regional Reports

B.5 Chinese Students Studying in North America:  Current Conditions and Prospects    Zheng Jinlian, Chai Pinyi, Xu Lei

Abstract: The United States and Canada are developed countries whose investment in university research and educational levels are widely seen as being at the top of the world. The long-standing important role of immigration in the development of these two countries has created an open, inclusive, and pluralistic social environment, which attracts large numbers of high-level talent from other countries like China for foreign study.  Recently, the United States and Canada have developed a series of policies to attract overseas talent to study and work in their respective countries, with these measures covering the stages from entering school to working, and even immigration. This paper discusses the current situation and prospects for foreign students studying in the U.S. and Canada in 2014, with an emphasis on the situation of Chinese students.

Key Words:Studying in the US; Studying in Canada; Study-abroad Policy

B.6 Chinese Studying in Europe:  Current Situation and Proospects    Yang Fei, Yan Wei

Abstract: Europe has become the first choice  for more and more international students wishing to study abroad. Major European countries like Britain, France, Germany, and Russia not only have advanced educational systems, superior educational resources, and excellent and stimulating academic environments, but also offer beneficial student visa policies. China has emerged as the principal source country of international students to these European countries. Most Chinese students enrolled in such institutions have chosen to study in business, engineering and other traditional “hot” majors.

Keywords: Study Abroad in Britain; Study Abroad in France; Study Abroad in Germany; Study Abroad in Russia; Study Abroad in other European countries

B.7 Chinese Students in Oceania:  Current Sitation and Prospects    Zheng Jinlian, Sun Xiaomeng, Deng Ying

Abstract: Australia and New Zealand have always been among the main destinations for Chinese students studying abroad.  The number of Chinese students going to Australia and New Zealand has increased slightly in 2014. China is the largest source country of the international students for the two countries. Compared to China, Australia and New Zealand have better education systems and looser immigration policies, which have enabled them to attract plenty of Chinese students. This chapter will introduce the current situation and relevant advantages of studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand for Chinese students interested in receiving an overseas post-secondary education.

Keywords: studying abroad; studying in Australia; studying in New Zealand

B.8 Chinaese Studying Abroad in East Asian and other "One-Belt-One-Road" countries:  Current Situation and Prospects    Cao Jiajie, Yang Fei, Chai Pinyi

Abstract: Among Asian countries, Japan and Korea are the traditional study-aboard destinations. These two countries have advanced economies and high educational levels.  They have also introduced national strategies to attract international students respectively. Among the “One-Belt-One-Road” countries, ASEAN countries have a comparatively higher level of globalized education, especially Singapore and Malaysia, making those two countries more attractive to international students. The report introduces the current situation and prospects for international students in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, focusing on the performance of Chinese students.  The report does the same with respect to the ASEAN group members, while also reviewing educational collaboration between China and these countries.

Keywords: Studying in East-Asian countries; Studying in ASEAN countries; One-Belt-One-Road; Education cooperation

BIV Special Reports

B.9 Studying Abroad in China: Current Situation and Policy Breakthrough    Wang Huiyao, Miao Lv, Dong Qingqian, Zheng Jinlian

Abstract: In 2014, international students in China topped 370,000. Nevertheless, their scale and quality are not at all comparable to overseas Chinese students.  After the National

Overseas Studies and Work Conference urged thatn“international students in China should be given the same priority as overseas Chinese students,” international students in China will become a main developmental focus and important field of research. Although China has recently been undertaking ever deeper investigations into international students in the People’s Republic, really systematic research is lacking about the current situation of these individuals, their development over the years, and transformation of strategic thinking regarding of the international students in China. This paper discusses the main trends regarding foreign students studying in China and proposes some measures to help these individuals to work in the People’s Republic.  This discussion is based on the current situation and prospects of foreign students in China and the characteristics of policies related to them.

Key words: International students studying in China; Related policies; suggestions and countermeasures

B.10 The Status Quo of Overseas Chinese Postgraduates Three Years from Now    Zhou Lingbo, Wang Chengmin

Abstract: The growing numbers of Chinese students who studied overseas returning their mother country has become a significant feature of the overall global flow of highly educated human capital.  These students serve as a key reference point for devising policy regulations aimed at optimizing the value of such individuals for China’s social and economic development. Based on the continuous investigation of overseas Chinese students who went abroad for postgraduate work at foreign universities in 2011, this report will analyze the current prospects those students three years from now in terms of returning to China, employment conditions quality, comparing them with their counterparts who are doing postgraduate work at Chinese universities.  Our findings show that overseas Chinese students are becoming more inclined to return to China.  Of the Chinese postgraduates who went abroad to do further study in 2011, 62% of them have returned home, with 48% preferring to live in cities.  Some 78.0% of them have full-time jobs and 15.7% of them are in postgraduate schools.  Additionally, 2.3% of those returned overseas Chinese students became entrepreneurs, which is a significantly higher share than domestic postgraduates (0.7%). Moreover, large numbers of those students are working in firms with international features and in large scale enterprises. Returnee overseas Chinese postgraduates have higher employment quality than domestic postgraduates.

Key words: Overseas Chinese Postgraduates; Domestic Postgraduates; The Status Quo Three Years Later; Employment

B.11 Carrying Forth Sino Foreign Cooperative Venture Education and Cultivating Entrepreneurial Talents    Wang Huiyao, Miao Lv, Deng Ying

Abstract: With the trend of globalization and growing need for China to find a new economic growth model, the importance of entrepreneurial international talent has become increasingly significant. First, this talent acts as an important driving force for the promotion of “Massive Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”  In addition, it helps internationalize innovation and entrepreneurship and further strengthen the global competitiveness of Chinese enterprises. Moreover, this talent plays a critical role in advancing the sustainable development of innovation and entrepreneurship. In order to cultivate entrepreneurial talent, entrepreneurship education should be prioritized. Compared with the experience of European and American countries in entrepreneurship education, China is still at the initial stage of this process. We suggest that China learn from the experiences of developed countries, introduce quality international education resources, and establish an international entrepreneurship education system. These practices will fundamentally push forth the vision of “Massive Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” to achieve sustained and healthy economic development.

Key words: Entrepreneurial Education; Sino Foreign Cooperation,; Entrepreneurial Talent

B.12 2015-2016 Trends in Student Application Strategies for Overseas Study and Destination Countries for Foreign Education    New Oriental Vision Overseas, manager for the international study abroad application program

Abstract: The application strategies of students seeking out places to study in the year after graduating from a high school or college are season are directly influenced by the study-abroad policies of potential destination countries, changes in college admission criteria, and shifting circumstances in the lives’ of applicants.  After summarizing and analyzing the application status in various countries, the New Oriental Vision Overseas Consulting Company sorted out the change in application trends of different countries in 2015-2016, including the popular Chinese study abroad destinations like the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Asia. The study-abroad application process has now formally entered into 2016 application season; students who are planning to apply should choose the study-abroad destination that is right for them and rationally make study-abroad plans.

Key Words:Study-abroad Application Trend

B.13 An Exploratory Study on Dutch Higher Education and Chinese Students Studying in the Netherlands  Ma Xiao

Abstract:Although the Netherlands is not one of the main destinations for Chinese students choosing to study overseas, it is a highly appealing environment for students worldwide who are interested in receiving a foreign education.  This raises the question of what makes the Dutch higher education system superior, how to make it even better, and  how do Chinese students in the Netherlands view their study experiences? In order to examine these questions, this project begins by reviewing Dutch higher education system, especially the top-ranking subjects of Dutch universities, as well as the motivation and preferences of Chinese students who study in the Netherlands. It interviews 20 Chinese master’s degree students and alumni along with 16 Chinese PhD students, using these interviews to elaborate on the Dutch master program training methods and how Chinese graduate students have been trained in the Netherlands. As an exploratory research effort, this project aims not to provide a comprehensive analysis of the whole view of Dutch higher education system, but rather to use it as a reference point for the ongoing reform of methods for training talent in China.

Key words:Dutch Higher Education, Studying in the Netherlands, A Training Method

B.14 The Status Quo, Development, and Competitiveness of Chinese Study Abroad Intermediary Institutions

Abstract: Currently there are a total of 330 officially recognized study abroad intermediary institutions in China, and their numbers have been steadily rising in recent years.  Taking into account the amount and regional distribution of these institutions, developmental problems of the industry, external regulations, industry competitiveness and the like, this paper will describe the status quo of China’s legal study abroad intermediary institutions, their development, and competitiveness level.  It then uses this analysis to devise a comprehensive ranking of such institutions.

Key words: study abroad intermediary institutions, status quo, competitiveness, development

BV Appendix

B.15 Part of the World’s Top Universities and Popular Majors

B.16 Postscript