International education booming in China

International education booming in China
China will be teaching at least 500,000 international students by 2020, Times Higher Education reports.

The data was revealed in a report published by the Institute of International Education, a US education think-tank.

It is expected that China will surpass the ambitious target as it steps up overseas collaboration efforts.
The study said that in 2016, the number of international students in China is likely to have passed 400,000 for the first time, thanks to a steady rise in foreign enrolments since 2011.

If that progress continues, China looks set to hit its ambitious goal of having 500,000 international students by 2020 – roughly half the 1.08 million international students now in the US.

However, China’s international student numbers might grow even more rapidly due to an aggressive new push to establish itself as the world’s most dominant power in higher education – the so-called “One Belt, One Road” education initiative, which was officially launched in June 2017.

While some commentators have seen the One Belt, One Road project as an attempt to usurp the US as the world’s top destination for international students, the report says that China’s ambitions should not be seen in terms of “a race” to be number one.

“There is no single superpower when it comes to education,” comment IIE researcher Rajika Bhandari and Columbia University educationalist Alessia Lefebure, authors of the 2015 book Asia: The Next Higher Education Superpower?, quoted in the report.

“What we see is greater mobility, growing interconnectedness, increased dialogue and many more bridges rather than barriers,” they state.

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