Put off by U.S., Chinese students eye elsewhere

Japan, S. Korea, Europe to be beneficiaries
Caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, Chinese students are looking for alternative study destinations — threatening to turn off an important source of revenue for American universities.
China accounts for nearly a third of foreign students on U.S. campuses who pour billions of dollars into the economy, but in March their numbers dropped for the first time in a decade.
Visa delays
Visa delays, concerns over being shut out of research projects and safety fears have turned off Chinese students, according to several admissions consultancies and nearly a dozen parents and students interviewed. Rival education powerhouses such as Britain, Australia and Canada are the biggest beneficiaries, a survey by New Oriental China’s biggest private education provider said. Japan and South Korea — traditional study abroad destinations for the Chinese elite — and parts of Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavian countries with strong engineering programmes, have also seen an uptick in applications, the survey found. The chilling effect started mid-last year, after President Donald Trump’s administration slashed the visa duration of students in science and technology fields from five years to one in some cases. “Now there’s a lot of uncertainty on whether they can even finish their studies,” said Gu Huini, founder of boutique college consultancy Zoom In. Over one third of the roughly 3,60,000 Chinese students in the US study in “STEM fields” — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — according to the Institute of International Education in New York. But the number of Chinese students in the U.S. dipped by 2% in March compared to the previous year, the first drop since 2009, data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows. Melissa Zhang, a high school senior in Beijing, said she has abandoned plans to go to the U.S. and was instead taking German lessons, in the hope of getting into a robotics programme in Dresden.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/put-off-by-us-chinese-students-eye-other-locations/article28325458.ece

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