International Student

International Student



Today, at the beginning of the new century, China is continuing to reform and open up to the outside world. By the middle of this century, China will have basically realized the Four Modernizations. A strong, democratic, and highly civilized China in the eastern hemisphere will play an important role in maintaining world peace and a prosperous international economy, and will ensure a glorious future for all mankind.

New China began accepting overseas students in 1950. China received the first group of 33 students from the East European countries. In the past few years, the number of foreign students in China as increased greatly. By the end of 2000, the total number of international students in China has increased to 407,000. In the 1995-1996 academic year, more than 41,000 foreign students of all types from 125 countries and regions came to China, including language students, undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral students, research scholars, and those taking all kinds of short-term training courses. Statistics show that 353 universities in 31 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (not including Taiwan province, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions) received 77,715 students from 175 countries to study in China in 2003.

International students from Asia still top the list of all, totaled 63,672, accounting for 81.93%, while 6,462 students are from Europe, accounting for 8.31%; 4,703 from America, accounting for 6.05%; 1,793 from Africa, accounting for 2.31%, and 1085 from Oceania, accounting for 1.04%. South Korea, Japan, the United States, Vietnam and Indonesia are the top five countries that have the largest numbers of international students in China, numbered 35,353, 12,765, 3,693, 3,478, and 2,563 respectively. Other countries, which have over 1,000 students in China, are Thailand (1,554), Germany (1,280), Russia (1,224), Nepal (1,199) and Mongolia (1,060).

Foreign students have different educational needs. China's universities offer many different types of courses and teaching methods to cater to these needs as well as to the different educational levels of the students that come form abroad

Language Trainees
Universities accept students who have achieved the minimum of a high school education for courses in the Chinese language. These courses usually last 1 or 2 years. Students are given certificates after they complete their course. Students who do not speak Chinese and want to study further in China are usually required to complete a language-training course.

Undergraduate degrees usually require 4-5 years of study. International students have classes together with native Chinese students. In accordance with each student's past education, some classes of a degree course can be cancelled and some have to be added. Students receive a Bachelor's degree after passing the necessary exams and completing a thesis.

Master's degrees are granted after 2-3 years of study. As well as written exams and a postgraduate thesis, oral examinations are also taken.

Three years of study are needed to obtain a PhD.

Research Scholars
The student under the supervision of an assigned tutor usually conducts research independently. Any surveys, experiments, interviews, or visits that a research scholar has to make need to be arranged before hand and authorized.

Short-Term Training Courses
Short-term courses are now offered in many areas such as Chinese literature, calligraphy, economics, architecture, Chinese law, traditional Chinese medicine, art, and sports. Courses are offered in the holidays as well as during term time.

The Chinese government has placed priority on developing education, putting forward the strategy of revitalizing the country through science and education, making constant efforts to deepen the reform of educational system, and implementing the nine-year compulsory education. Governments at all levels are increasing investment in education and encourage people to run education through different channels and in different forms.

"Education must meet the needs of the modernization drive, the world and the future", put forward by Deng Xiaoping, is the direction of China's educational development, and also the guiding principle to promote education reform and construction.

Higher learning institutions play a very important role in academic and scientific research in China. By the end of 1997, China had had 1,020 schools of higher education, with 176,400 postgraduates and 3,172,700 undergraduates. Each of these institutions has research departments or laboratories. China has 3,409 research institutes, including 416 that focus on key subjects and 152 key State-level laboratories and research centers.

China's universities are directly under the State Education Commission of China, other ministries or State-level commissions, or the governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. There are also private universities. Independent institutes are neither inferior nor subordinate to universities in China.

To ensure the quality of students admitted for higher education, China has set up a strict entrance examination system. Students graduating with senior school diplomas can enter universities or institutes of higher education only after they pass the national entrance examinations held once a year in July.

Some 85,829 international students and scholars came to study in China in 2002, up 38.7 percent over the number who came in 2001, according to the statistics of the China Scholarship Council. These students were distributed among 395 higher education institutions in the mainland. Some 7.08 percent (6,074) enjoyed Chinese governmental scholarships. Among the total, 16,309 were undergraduates, 2,858 master candidates and 1,389 doctorate candidates. Students from the Republic of Korea numbered 36,093, followed by Japan (16,084) and the United States (7,359). The Beijing Language and Culture University remains in the leading position in hosting international students (9,112), followed by Peking University (4,189) and Fudan University (3,324).

The academic year of a full- time university is generally divided into two semesters (A few are trying a three-term system). The first term begins in early September. Students are given a month's holiday for the Spring Festival, returning in the middle of February. The summer vacation starts in mid July. Each semester lasts about 20 weeks. In addition to the long vacations, students have one day off on New Year's Day (January 1) and International Labor Day (May 1), and two days for National Day (October 1).

We hope also that by studying in China you will gain academic success, grow as an individual and go on to bring great honor to your homeland when you return.

For further information please see ChinaLink Student Services