China became the world’s third most popular destination for international students in 2018, receiving 10 percent of the global students, ahead of many long-standing host countries.
Currently, over 28,000 Pakistani students are studying in China, out of which, over 7,000 are the recipient of the Chinese scholarship. The number of Pakistani students had increased from 9,500 in 2013 to 25,000 in 2018 after the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
China is not only the world’s largest exporter of international students but also one of the most popular destinations of the students, according to a report released by the Center for China and Globalization, World Innovation Summit for Education and the Institute of International Education.
The report said that the US hosted 22 percent of the world’s students in 2018, ranking first, while the UK was in second with 10 percent. China was also the destination for 10 percent of the world’s mobile students in 2018, it said.
In China, nearly half of international students come from countries and regions along the Belt Road Initiative including Pakistan, as the scheme serves as an effective tool to facilitate educational exchanges. In 2012, China announced a goal of hosting 500,000 international students at all academic levels by 2020, which is close to achieving, said Wang Huiyao, president of the Centre for China and Globalisation.
The increase in China’s global trade and investment, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative’s demand for overseas talent, are the main drivers for attracting foreign students.