hina has become Asia’s biggest destination for overseas students, according to figures from the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE).
State media organization Xinhua reports that in 2017 there were 489,200 foreigners studying in China, 75,800 of whom were postgraduates or post-doctoral researchers, a growth of 18.62 percent year on year.
Laos replaced Vietnam among the top 10 sources of overseas students. China’s Belt and Road Initiative was said to have contributed to the growth with the number of students from Belt and Road nations growing by 11.6 percent on 2016 figures. Most students were distributed among large and wealthy municipalities or provinces, such as Shanghai and Beijing, and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, the MOE said.
Compared to Chinese language studies, which was once the top choice for international students, more are now majoring in science and engineering, economics, law and management.