According to statistics the current market for Chinese studying abroad has shown growing trends in three areas; more self-financed, more classified and more schools and majors available to choose from.
Zhang Xiuqin, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges under the Ministry of Education, said the number of Chinese students who went to study abroad in 2008 was 179,800. Of these students, 161,600 were self-financed, accounting for 90% of the total. Self-financed students have become the majority of Chinese students studying abroad.
In 2007, Zhu Jiani, a 2008 master’s degree graduate of the Graduate School of Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, made a survey via the Internet of Chinese students studying abroad.
According to 454 questionnaires received, 62% of the students declared their family as the main source of funding for their tuition for studying abroad, ranking it still the top financial source. Zhang, mother of a self-financed student studying abroad, said in an interview that nowadays people can more easily afford to study abroad as their income has increased while expenses for studying abroad have not changed much.
Experts believe that the recent market for studying abroad has benefited from two policies.
The first one was the RMBfour trillion stimulus package adopted by the Chinese government to boost domestic demand. This has benefited many industries, and therefore directly or indirectly impacted the common family.
The second policy related to the fact that in recent years, popular studying abroad destinations such as the UK, the US, Australia and Canada all adjusted their policies one after another, relaxing visa restrictions, adjusting the percentage of new students admitted and cutting down the threshold for enrollment, therefore increasing the number of foreign students from China and other countries.
A consultant who works at an intermediary agency for studying abroad called Chivast Education International said that ‘the number of candidates applying as graduate students increased by 30 to 40%and as undergraduates increased by 50% in 2008.’
Recently, Chinese students studying abroad have become increasingly diversified. Aside from undergraduates, other students such as graduate students, doctorate students, and advanced research scholars have gradually increased. Apart from students, young white-collar workers are also looking for the opportunity to study abroad.