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Top students less keen on overseas courses

Studying abroad becomes accessible thanks to economic development

By Zhao Yimeng | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-16 09:42

Students at regular higher education institutions in China have been the most eager to study overseas in the past decade, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The Report on Chinese Students' Overseas Study shows that 57 percent of students who chose to study abroad this year were from regular universities, while 26 percent had been students at top-tier institutes.

A decade ago, students from high-profile universities accounted for 45 percent of the total and those from regular universities 46 percent, the report said.

Published by Vision Overseas, a subsidiary of New Oriental Education and Technology Group, the report was based on a survey of 9,413 respondents who had studied abroad or intended to do so.

Li Jun, marketing director of New Oriental Vision Overseas, said the increasing proportion of regular university students indicates that studying abroad has become a channel for the majority of college students to pursue their dreams and a promising future.

Meanwhile, regular families, with parents working as "general employees", have become the primary group sending children abroad since 2018, according to the report. In 2022, they accounted for 45 percent of the total.

Studying abroad has become more accessible thanks to the rapid development of China's economy and the improvement in people's living standards, it said.

Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of literature and law students opting to study overseas.

Australia is the third-most-popular destination for students from the Chinese mainland, following the United Kingdom and the United States, it added. Hong Kong ranks fourth. Though the value of studying abroad has diminished now that such opportunities are not limited to wealthy or brilliant students, most employers still recognize the value of studying abroad, the report said.

Figures from the report show that about 84 percent of employers believe studying abroad has a positive impact on students, broadening their views, enriching their life experiences and changing their way of thinking.

Returning to the Chinese mainland for employment after graduation has become the mainstream choice of students studying abroad, Li said.

More students are shifting from working overseas for a while after graduation to immediately returning to China, he added.

Education and computer science are gradually surpassing finance to become the most popular industries among Chinese students overseas, attracting them with stability and high salaries, according to the report.

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