China to overtake UK as a study abroad destination
China will challenge the UK's position as second in the world for international study by 2020, according to a latest report led by Student.com, accommodation provider for international students.
The report said a record breaking 397,635 international students went to China in 2015 and China has been the third most popular destination for overseas students ahead of Canada, Germany and France. The report added that although there has been a slowdown in numbers since 2014, the number of foreign students in China has been growing on average 10% year-on-year since 2006. The report forecasts that at current growth rates China will overtake the UK to be the second most popular destination for international students, behind the USA at number one.
The Independent newspaper from the UK also quoted experts confirming that the number of international students studying in China has risen so rapidly, China will overtake the UK as the second most popular academic destination in the world.
The Independent noted that the trend is thought to be partly due to a drive by the Chinese government, as well as increasingly higher education standards and scholarship programs for degree-seeking students.
Professor David Goodman, who leads the China Studies program of the University of Liverpool, told the Independent international students benefit from the exposure to China and its culture, not least because of its growing economy and jobs market.