One Chronicle reporter met with a group of Chinese students to understand why America is their preferred destination. But the group was perhaps not the best examples of Chinese students.
The group, it should be said, is not entirely representative of the typical Chinese student who studies abroad: These students attend the capital's best high schools; some are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, a relatively new phenomenon in China. Franklin, a junior, has already taken a tour of American colleges with others in his class, visiting Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Universities, among other campuses. Another of the students speaks English so flawlessly that one might assume she'd grown up in Boston, not Beijing.Meanwhile, The Chronicle also notes that American institutions are relying more and more on Chinese students to fill their international seats.
The number of international students enrolling in American colleges and universities grew at a faster clip in 2010 than a year earlier, reaching an all-time high of 723,277. But the growth was heavily reliant on two countries: China and Saudi Arabia, according to data released this week by the Institute of International Education.
The explosion of interest among Chinese students continued unabated, with numbers rising more than 23 percent—the fourth year of double-digit increases. Meanwhile, Saudi students, while coming in much smaller numbers, benefited from generous government scholarships, expanding their presence by 44 percent.I listened to a fascinating "On Point" radio program a few days ago that examined the number of Chinese students entering U.S. colleges. I appreciated that there was none of the overt political drama that too often is associated with China and the U.S. Instead, this program was a sober and reasonable discussion of the challenges and opportunities for both the Chinese student and the U.S. institutions that take them in.