China’s elite is known to send their children to prestigious Western universities as part of their preparation to compete in a more global business environment. However, recent reports show that China itself is increasing in stature as a destination for international students.
Campaigning for More International Students
China is currently ramping up their campaign to increase the number of international students in the country to half a million by 2020. They aim to do this by tapping the students where China traditionally sent their students – the west.
China is already making great strides in their efforts having signed agreements with the United States government aiming to increase the number of US students studying in China to a whopping 100,000; all this done in the spirit of cooperation. In addition to this, the British government is also encouraging their students to take courses in China and get internships with major Chinese companies as part of their strategy to help British business get a chunk of the pie in China’s booming economy.
Of course, despite agressive campaigning in the west, fellow Asian countries, particularly those in the Southeast Asia region, still comprise majority of the international student populace in the country. And with China’s universities reputation on the rise, this will probably become a growing trend.
The Language Issue
Despite China’s growing prominence in higher education, the language issue remains a big concern for international students. With most universities in China obviously using Mandarin as the medium of instruction, those who do not know the language or wish to improve their English language skills end up discounting China for their studies.
Perhaps, it is because of this that more universities are starting to use English as a medium of instruction. It should be noted though, that the use of English as the primary language in university is not in demand only with international students but with Chinese nationals as well. And while you can be sure that every Chinese you meet in university will be fluent in their native Mandarin, they also seek to be more fluent in the English language since it is still the language of choice in the world of international business.
With Chinese universities bent on providing more courses delivered in English, the language issue is slowly becoming a non-issue, at least if you enrol in English-speaking universities. In fact, the increasing number of UK and US universities opening satellite campuses in China ensures that you’ll find a good English-speaking university in the country.
“Gia is an English language and exam prep tutor from Thailand. She works mainly with students in Bangkok who are seeking to improve their English while studying for the GED exam (เรียน GED) and pass the IELTS exams (เรียน IELTS)”