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Number of Chinese students in the U.S. 2008/09-2018/19

Colleges and universities in the United States are becoming an increasingly popular study destination for Chinese students, with over 369 thousand choosing to take courses there in the 2018/19 academic year. This made China the leading source of international students in the U.S. education market.

The education exodus

Business and management courses led the field in terms of what Chinese students were studying in the United States, followed closely by engineering, mathematics and computer science programs. The vast majority of Chinese students were self-funded, wth the remainder receiving state-funding to complete their overseas studies. Tuition fees can run into the tens of thousands of U.S. dollars, as foreign students usually pay out-of-state tuition fees.

What about the local situation?

Although studying abroad attracts many Chinese students, the country itself boasts the largest state-run education system in the world. With modernization of the national tertiary education system being a top priority for the Chinese government, the country has seen a significant increase in the number of local universities over the last decade. Enrolments in these universities exceeded 27 million in 2017, and a record of around 7.4 million students graduated in the same year, indicating China has no plans on slowing down its education market expansion.

Number of college and university students from China in the United States from academic year 2008/09 to 2018/19

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Release date

November 2019


China, United States

Survey time period

academic year 2008/09 to 2018/19

Supplementary notes

The publication date was not provided by the source. The date showed here is the date of data access.

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Statistics on "Education in China"

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