International universities lure Chinese students at education expo

About 300 schools and educational organizations from 30 countries and regions attended the ongoing China Education Expo 2017.

Local students and parents are able to talk face to face with representatives of about 300 schools and educational organizations from 30 countries and regions over the weekend at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center as the China Education Expo 2017 is being held.

The expo, hosted by China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), has been organized for 17 years since 2000, providing a platform for countries and schools to show latest policies, programs and achievements and also for Chinese students to meet with school officials and education authorities of participating countries.

2017 is a special year for Canada, as it marks the 150th anniversary since the birth of the country as a confederation in 1867. It became the “Country of Honor” in this year’s expo with about 40 educational institutions, the largest ever delegation in the past past 10 year since the Government of Canada began hosting a country pavilion at the event.

Canada has been a popular destination for overseas study among Chinese students and there are more than 130,000 Chinese students studying there, the largest group of international students in the country.

Its government has also introduced a series of new policies to lure foreign students in recent years, including beginning to issue 10-year visa with multiple entries to Chinese citizens.

In its International Education Strategy released in 2014, it announced its plan to attract 450,000 foreign students by 2022, double the current number, by committing C$5 million per year to branding and marketing Canada as an education destination in target markets including China, Brazil and India.

Unlike some countries where only higher education institutions are open to international students, many public primary and middle schools in Canada also open their doors to children from other countries.

America remains the most popular country for Chinese students with 328,547 students from China studying in American schools in 2015/2016 school year, up 8.1 percent from the previous year. It accounted for 31.5 percent of all international students in America.

Led by the American Embassy in China, about 40 American schools showed up at the expo.

UK is also one of the most popular countries as most of its master programs take only one year.

As the UK last year announced it would exit from EU, the exchange rate between pound sterling and Renminbi dropped to the lowest level in the past 30 years. The scholarships provided by British schools increased.

The British Council also announced recently that it will open the “Great Scholarships 2018”to Chinese students, offering a total sum of about one million pounds of scholarships to 150 applicants while each could receive 5,000 to 22,000 pounds respectively.

This year also marks the 10th year for China and Spain to mutually recognize educational degrees and diplomas issued by educational institutes in each other country. And the policy announced in 2015 to allow Chinese students to apply for Spanish universities with Chinese high school certificates has also helped boost popularity of the country as a destination among Chinese families.

Last year, 5,014 Chinese students got visas to Spain, up 11.5 percent from the previous year.

There are about 7,000 Chinese students in Spain, including 40 percent pursuing bachelor’s degrees, another 40 percent in master’s programs and the rest for doctorate study or language programs.

Dong Jun / SHINE

A couple talk to an official of an American university.

Dong Jun / SHINE

A student talks to an official of a Swedish university.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors look at booths at the British pavilion area

Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors at the Canadian pavilion area. Canada is the "Country of Honor" at this year's expo.

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