Annual Report on the Development of Chinese Studying Abroad 2017

Tuesday,Jan 02, 2018


400 中国留学发展报告(2017)-封面重出1212



In 2016, the development of globalization has entered a new stage. On the one hand, developed countries in Europe and America generated divergent view on the development of globalization. On the other hand, the influence of the European Refugee Crisis has been further expanded, and new trends of international talent flow has emerged, mainly for the phenomenon of brain drain in developing countries gradually slowed down and the return of talent began to accelerate. In this context, global Studying Abroad has also decelerated in 2016 and the growth rate of China’s Studying Abroad fell 8.17 percentage points than the previous year. However, it is noteworthy that China’s returnees has brought a new wave of Returnee’s Tide, while Study in China has developed rapidly under the influence of the “Belt & Road” Initiative, accumulating more talents for China to participate in international development and global governance. In order to reflect the latest development situation of China’s studying abroad and analyze the hot issues related to studying abroad, CCG has edited this blue book, called “Annual Report on the Development of Chinese Students Studying Abroad (2017) No.6”. This blue book consists of four parts: the General Report, Investigative Reports, Featured Reports and Regional Reports.

The General Report analyzes the current development characteristics of global studying abroad from a macro perspective. Focusing on China, it also discusses the status quo, the features and trends of China’s studying abroad in 2016. In general, the number of Chinese students studying abroad maintain the first place in the world, but the growth rate of students slows down. Breaking down to different education levels, students under ISCED level 5 are more inclined to seek diploma and enroll in tertiary education after graduation. Besides studying abroad, students in Chine have got more opportunities to pursue international education with the rapid development of international schools and Chinese-foreign cooperative schools. The number of returnees, on the other hand, has continued to increase, while Studying in China has a rapid development at the same time, promoting China’s employment policies for foreign students to make new breakthroughs. Based on the overall trend of studying abroad, as well as the problems along with it, such as safety issues and returnees’ high employment pressure, this report puts forward several suggestions, including re-enhancing the value of studying abroad, promoting the development of Studying in China in countries along the route of “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, and improving safety education and training of studying abroad.

The Investigative Reports consist of three parts. The first part is based on questionnaire survey data, it analyzes the current situation of studying abroad students who obtained their undergraduate degree in China between 2013 and 2016, including the choice of studying abroad destinations, the distribution of academic goals, their primary intention of studying abroad, willingness to return China, and channels for obtaining studying abroad information. Through a study on the development of returned overseas students, the second part analyzes returnees’ employment and entrepreneurship situation in China. As for the third part, rested on a follow-up survey of overseas graduates who graduated between 2011 and 2013, it analyzes the development trend of Chinese students studying abroad, as well as the location and the quality of overseas graduates’ job placement.

The Featured Reports can be divided into four sections. The first section assess European and American countries’ attitude towards globalization, breaking down to working and immigration policy changes in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. By reviewing China’s current situation in attracting overseas Chinese graduates, as well as relevant policy measures, this section also offers policy recommendations on accelerating the return of overseas Chinese graduates. The second section focuses on the development of Studying in China in countries along the route of “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, including the background, the current status and emerging problems. After examining supporting policies and programs, it puts forward several suggestions to promote the development of Studying in China in these countries. The third section discusses the employment of returnees as it steps into the “Bronze Age”, when the value of studying abroad declines. This section analyzes the reasons behind the decline and gives recommendations to re-enhance the value. The last section is an analysis on the learning situation of Hong Kong, Maco and Taiwan students in mainland China. It introduces relevant policies for these students to Studying in China and puts forward some suggestions according to the problems facing them.

The Regional Reports introduce the current situation and the trends of Chinese students studying abroad in North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. Each region has an independent section. To provide reference for Chinese students studying abroad, each section covers the number of Chinese students, their choice of major, the development trend of Chinese students studying abroad, as well as the latest studying abroad policies and arising hot issues.




                                                                                                                                  I            General Report

B.1      The Development of China’s Study Abroad under the Background of Globalization and “One Belt, One Road” Initiative: Challenges and New Opportunities

Wang Huiyao, Miao Lv, Zheng Jinlian and Li Qing


  1. New Trends of Global Studying Abroad Development in 2016
  2. The Status Quo, Characteristics and Trends of China’s Studying Abroad in 2016
  3. The Characteristics and Trends of Studying in China Development in 2016
  4. Suggestions on Promoting the Healthy Development of China’s Studying Abroad


Abstract: Under the background of globalization towards the crossroads, the development of studying abroad shows a trend of slowing overall growth, affected by the adjustments of work and immigration policies. The number of international students in traditional studying abroad destinations has declined, represented by the United States and the United Kingdom, while those in countries like Canada and Australia has increased significantly. China, as the world’s largest exporter of international students, its number of students studying abroad slowed down in 2016, but the proportion of self-financed remained high. The development of studying abroad maintains the trend of civilian and popularization, however, safety issues has become increasingly severe. The number of returned overseas students continues to grow, not only provides a large number of international talent reserve for China’s economic and social development, but also makes the employment of returnees into the “Bronze Age”, leading to thinking and discussing on the value of studying abroad among students, parents, and the society. In terms of Studying in China, the number of international students in China achieved a double-digit growth in light of the country’s emphasis, as well as the active promotion of international student practice and employment policies. Especially under the influence of “One Belt, One Road” Initiative and the implementation of “One Belt, One Road” Educational Action, countries along “One Belt, One Road” Initiative has become the growth point of Studying in China. Based on analysis of these characteristics, of studying abroad both globally and in China, this report puts forward several suggestions on further promoting the development of Studying in China along the route of “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, strengthening international education cooperation, creating comprehensive platforms for returnees’ development, and strengthening safety education and training of overseas students.

Keywords: Globalization; “One Belt, One Road” Initiative; Studying abroad; Studying in China; Returnees

                                                                                                              II         Investigative Reports

B.2      Investigation on College Graduates Studying Abroad in 2016

Miao Lv, Yang Jingmin and Wu Feiyi

Abstract: According to a joint investigation conducted by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and Mycos, the proportion of Chinese college graduates studying abroad has kept a steady upward trend in the past decade, but those from “211” institutions declined in 2016 compared to the previous year. College graduates studying abroad, in terms of academic goals, funding source and information channels etc., has changed in a relatively small scale and maintained a good coherence. But to be specific, the purpose of studying abroad is more pragmatic, and the intention to return home has been increasing during the past three consecutive years. Getting a master’s degree was still the main purpose for college graduates studying abroad, and the desire to pursue a doctor’s declined. In the aspect of funding, family funding was the primary source for studying abroad, while families with a good educational background had a higher willingness to studying abroad. As for access to studying abroad information, studying abroad intermediaries became the main channel. When it comes to studying abroad destinations, North America and Asia had higher requirements for pursuing academic education compared to Oceania and Europe. Students in Europe had a higher rate of returning home, while those in the Oceania had the lowest. In terms of family economic situation and access to studying abroad information, large regional differences have been discovered from the investigation’s results.

Keywords: college graduate, studying abroad, willingness to return home, regional difference, family economic situation.

  B.3      Report on Employment & Entrepreneurship of Chinese Returnees 2017

Li Qing, Wang Jianfang and Yang Wei

Abstract: In 2016, there was 432.5 thousand returned overseas Chinese students, demonstrating that China, as an emerging “talent magnet”, is playing a greater role in attracting international talents. At the same time, the rapid increase of returnees has also made returnees’ employment issues the focus of social attention. In 2017, the Center for China & Globalization (CCG) conducted a research on the development situation of returned overseas Chinese students. According to the research, more than 70% of the students studying abroad returned China after graduation for employment and entrepreneurship because of family reunion. After returning China, most of the returnees are employed in the IT/Communications/Electronic/Internet industry and the financial industry. Nearly 60% of the returnees got entry level positions for initial employment. As for the value of studying abroad, the returnees have a positive attitude, but many of them are not satisfied with their current career development situation and their state of life. For returned entrepreneurs, Beijing is still the most preferred city, second-line cities, like Chengdu and Wuhan, are gaining more attractiveness gradually. Among the factors influencing returnees’ choice of entrepreneurship city, quick economic development and personal connections are among the most important. Regarding the success rate of entrepreneurship, more than half of the returned entrepreneurs have failure experience, and the main cause of their failure is the lack of entrepreneurial experience.

Keywords: Returnees; Employment; Entrepreneurship

B.4      An Analysis of the Development Situation of Overseas Students who Graduated between 2011 to 2013

Cao Chen and Gao Wenting

Abstract: Chinese students studying overseas are an important part of our country’s overseas talent. In order to accurately grasp the development trend of Chinese overseas students returning home and better understand the needs of overseas talent, MyCOS compared the follow-up survey data of foreign graduate students, who graduated in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively, to those of domestic graduate students after three-year graduation. Based on the comparison, this report analyzed the development situation of overseas students who returned home for employment, in aspects of return trend, development destinations, and the quality of domestic employment, etc. Survey results show that the flow rate of returned overseas students has come down and tends to be flat, but the trend of returned overseas students to sub-provincial cities is obvious. The main destination of overseas students is full-time work, and most of them entered private enterprises or were self-employed. For overseas students, the quality of employment has improved, and in terms of salary and employment status, the satisfaction level continues to rise after three years of graduation, better than their domestic counterparts.

Keywords: overseas students, domestic graduate students, the status quo after three years, employment.

                                                                                                                             III       Special Reports

B.5      Opportunities and Challenges: How could China Accelerate its Efforts to Attract Overseas Chinese Students while European and American Countries are Tightening up Work and Immigration Policies?

Wang Huiyao, Chen Xiaoxiao and Li Qing

Abstract: In the era of globalization, international students, as an important part of international talents, are mobilizing around the world, and their choice of studying abroad destinations is not only affected by a country’s education quality and economic development level, but also by its work and immigration policies. In recent years, popular studying abroad countries in Europe and America, like the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, are tightening up their work and immigration policies because of economic slowdown, political turmoil and the refugee crisis. Worsen by domestic protectionism and anti-globalization forces, international students and talents in these countries are faced with new choices as to leave or stay in their studying abroad countries. It may well be argued that the tightening up of work and immigration policies in European and American countries not only provides opportunities for China to attract studying abroad talents, but also challenges China’s talent attraction systems. In order to speed up the attraction of overseas students and foreign talents to China, this report gives several suggestions after reviewing China’s existing policy system for returnee’s development and the construction status of Innovation Agglomeration Areas. These suggestions include: improve the system of employment and entrepreneurship, speed up the reform of the talent system, establish a more fair and reasonable system for talent selection and evaluation, and enhance the living environment of overseas talents.

Keywords: European and American countries; Anti-globalization; work and immigration policies; Studying abroad talents

B.6      Stepping into the “Bronze Age” of Returnee’s Employment: How to Deal with the Challenges Brought by the Popularization of Studying Abroad?

Li Qing, Yang Wei and Zhong Hui

Abstract: With the rapid growth of China’s Studying Abroad and the arrival of the large-scale Returnee’s Tide, study abroad returnee’s employment step into the “Bronze Age”. First of all, along with the popularization of studying abroad, the number of students studying abroad has increased rapidly, declining the overall quality of studying abroad students and talents. Second, the industrialization of studying abroad services lets students with studying abroad intentions produce inertia and dependent psychology to some extent, causing many of these students lack necessary planning for studying abroad. Furthermore, as China’s recruitment market is getting more mature, more emphasis has been put on work experience and personal ability, returnees, in this regard, are losing their previous advantages. Especially with the rapid increase in the size of returnees, their employment pressure further increased. To deal with these challenges brought by the massive return of studying abroad students, several suggestions are given at the end of the report, including further increase policy support for returnee’s employment and establish a service platform for returnee’s employment and entrepreneurship; spearhead self-supervision and management model in the service industry of studying abroad and encourage more studying abroad agents to extend their services to returnees; further encourage cooperative education between Chinese and foreign educational institutes and promote the establishment of higher education evaluation system and criteria; actively guide students to correctly understand the status quo and the challenges of studying abroad, enhancing the social benefits and added values of studying abroad.

Keywords: Studying Abroad; Returnees; Employment; Studying Abroad service; Value of Studying Abroad

 B.7      The “Belt & Road” Initiative and Studying in China

Miao Lv, Zheng Jinlian and Li Xiuyu

Abstract: At present, China has become the world’s third largest recipient of international students, with the number of foreign students studying in China reaching 0.44 million in 2016. Countries along the route of “Belt & Road” Initiative, not only are an important source of foreign students, but also is the fastest growing area of Studying in China. This report will start from three aspects to systematically analyze the current situation and future trend of Studying in China in countries along the route of “Belt & Road” Initiative, including background conditions, development characteristics and policy environment. At the same time, it will put forward several policy recommendations on the problems still existing in the development of Studying in China, such as low quality and weak attractiveness.

Keywords: Studying in China; “Belt & Road” Initiative; Recommendations

B.8      Current Situation of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Students Studying in Mainland China

Liu Zhaohong

Abstract: As the end of 2016, there is a total of 40,000 Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students studying in Mainland China, covering 25 provincial administrative areas (provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities) and 270 higher education and research institutes. Cultivating students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan is an important and unique part of the talent cultivation function of higher educational institutions in Mainland, China. In early 2017, the Ministry of Education and other five Ministries jointly issued “Regulations on the Recruitment and Training of Students from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan Region for Higher Educational Institutions”, regulating Mainland China’s higher educational institutions not only on their recruitment and teaching of students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, but also on students’ life management and service providing. In recent years, the study of Mainland students studying in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan has been deepening, but systematic researches on the overall situation, the development process and policy advancements of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students studying in Mainland China are still deficient. This report conducts a systematic study on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students studying in Mainland China, including their development situation, the characteristics of policy changes and some other aspects. Pointing out the problems faced by these students, it puts forward several policy recommendations on how to promote students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to study in Mainland China.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao students; Studying in Mainland China; Policy

                                                                                                                       IV       Regional Reports

B.9      Chinese Students Studying in North America: Current Situation and Prospects

Miao Lv, Chen Xiaoxiao and Fei Mianmian

Abstract: With high quality education and good career prospects, North America countries, including the United States and Canada, have attracted a large number of international students to study there, especially in their higher education sectors. In recent years, however, due to the differences in these two countries’ focus on political and economic development, their policies towards international students, working visa and immigration also presents different development trends, bringing new opportunities and challenges for the development of international students and foreign talents in these two countries. This report introduces the current status of studying abroad in the United States and Canada in 2016, with an analysis on the situation of Chinese students studying in these two countries respectively.

Keywords: Studying Abroad in the United States; Studying Abroad in Canada; Latest Policies of Studying Abroad

B.10   Chinese Students Studying in Europe: Current Situation and Prospects

Zheng Jinlian, Chen Xiaoxiao and Zhang Boyu

Abstract: Since the implementation of “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, China has strengthened its exchanges and cooperation with European countries in the field of education and culture, Chinese students studying abroad in Europe have also adopted more diversified countries and professional choices. As in previous years, the United Kingdom, Germany and France have attracted the largest number of international students among European countries by virtue of high quality educational resources, a mature educational system and world-class academic research. Plus relatively low cost of tuition and fees, as well as efficient visa policies, these three countries have important advantages in attracting international students. However, we should also see that Brexit, the European refugee crisis and frequent terrorist attacks also have certain negative impacts on Chinese students studying in Europe.

Keywords: Studying abroad in the United Kingdom; Studying abroad in France; Study abroad in Germany; Studying abroad in other European countries

B.11   Chinese Students Studying in Oceania: Current Situation and Prospects

Dong Qingqian and Sun Xiaomeng

Abstract: Australia and New Zealand have long been the main choices for Chinese students studying abroad. In 2016, the number of Chinese students studying in Australia and New Zealand has a substantial increase compared with the previous year. Due to high teaching qualities, the relatively low cost of studying abroad, comparably easier application process to get work permits, more immigration opportunities and high safety coefficient, Australia and New Zealand both have attracted a large number of Chinese students. As a result, China has been the first source of international students in both countries for many years. This chapter will introduce the current situation and the advantages of studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand.

Keywords: Studying Abroad; Oceania; Australia; New Zealand

 B.12   Chinese Students Studying Abroad in Asia: Current Situation and Prospects

Miao Lv, Chen Xiaoxiao and Fei Mianmian

Abstract: Popular destinations for studying abroad in Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand along the route of Belt & Road Initiative, have attracted a large number of Chinese students because of higher level of education internationalization and adjacent location advantage with China. Japan and South Korea are fully developed in the field of education, both have a good educational environment and an inclusive cultural environment. Malaysia and Thailand, on the other hand, as emerging studying abroad destinations, not only have their own unique advantages in international education, but also are getting closer in economic and social relations with China under the development of ASEAN. This report introduces the general situation of foreign students studying in Japan and South Korea in 2016, and around the route of Belt & Road Initiative, discusses the development of higher education and studying abroad in Malaysia and Thailand. Analysis on educational cooperation between China and these countries are presented at the end of the report.

Keywords: Studying Abroad in Japan, Studying Abroad in South Korea, Belt & Road Initiative, Educational Cooperation



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