The number of foreign students in China reached a record high of 223,499 in 2008, a 14.32% increase over 2007 according to an official with the Ministry of Education. For example, On Oct.16, 2008 Foreign Student Scholarships were awarded to 188 foreign students studying at Fudan University. The students are seen in the illustration.
Zhang Xiuqin, head of the international cooperation and exchange department said at a press conference in Beijing that foreign students were attending 592 higher educational institutions throughout the country.
He said, ‘China has become one of the most popular destinations for foreign students because of its history and culture as well as improving government services.’
The Chinese government increased scholarships for foreign students in recent years. In 2008, 13,516 foreign students received scholarship;33.15% more than the previous year.
Zhang Xiuqin said those scholarships included tuition, housing and medical insurance.
According to the Ministry of Education, the Chinese government invested RMB500 million ($71.4 million) in 2008 to finance foreign students. Recipients received a monthly stipend between RMB1,400 to 2,000 ($200 to $285).
Since March of last year, China has been using a database to keep track of every foreign student in the country. It also established an emergency response system especially for the safety of foreign students.
Statistics show that the Republic of Korea, the United States and Japan were the top three sources of foreign students in China.