Edition 224 - December 2019

Rethink China: The end of the affair

This report, by Education Rethink, looks into Chinese student mobility to four major host destination markets – the US, UK, Canada and Australia – along with the push and pull factors that are currently influencing student flows. The increasingly weighty role geopolitical issues play in international higher education is also noted. The report shows that the challenges that higher education institutions are currently navigating apply not only to recruiting students from China, but from many countries across the globe.

Amongst the key findings are that:

  • Chinese students continue to pursue study in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, but growth is slowing significantly, while the US and UK continue to rely heavily on China as a source country for international students.
  • Total enrollments of Chinese students across nearly every level of study in the US dropped in 2018-19, with the biggest decline in language studies.
  • The student visas issued by UK to Chinese nationals are up by 21%, on an annual basis, while visas issued to the rest of the world have increased only by 8%.
  • Canada and Australia are diversifying their international student populations to be less reliant on China as a source country. After surging 38% through the first half of 2018, the number of new study permits for Chinese nationals to Canada was flat through August 2019.
  • Demand for Canadian education from the rest of the world remains strong, with new study permits issued growing nearly 15% in the last year.
  • New Chinese student enrollments in Australia were down 4% in the last year, while new enrollments from the rest of the world are up nearly 7%.


The report

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