The China Education Expo 2012 has opened in Beijing. More than 500 universities from 38 countries and regions are attending the event to attract more Chinese talent. As China boasts the highest number of students studying overseas, the market is becoming more mature and diverse.
Xu Fang has worked at an overseas studies intermediary agency since 2003. She visits the China Education Expo every year to look for new programs and courses from different countries for Chinese students. She says that the market has changed a lot in recent years.
Xu says, “The US, UK, Canada and Australia are traditional destinations for Chinese students, and more countries have joined this booming market. No matter what their family background, interests or career plans, students can always find the right place to go and the right course to study.”
Now in its thirteenth year, the Expo has seen a rapid increase in the number of Chinese students going abroad, from 118,500 students in 2005 to 339,700 in 2011, accounting for 14 percent of international students studying overseas.
A few years ago, business, finance and computer science were among the most popular majors for Chinese students. Now more are choosing a school and course according to their interest and future plans rather than just by ranking and popularity.
Professor Michael Marsonet from university of Genoa, says, “Usually they choose topics like engineering, economics, business and foreign languages. But they are choosing more widely – we have Chinese students in Philosophy, Literature, culture, Diplomacy and Law.”16-year-old Liu Shiqi has a clear idea what he wants.
Liu Shiqi, a high school student, says, “I want to study engineering in Germany after high school. I have been to the country through an exchange program and spoke to friends who are studying this major in college. I have a passion for it.”Besides more international communication, the change is also down to technical developments.
Liu Jing, assistant of Education section of British embassy, says, “Students don’t follow the trend like before. The internet helps a lot – students can find out more about schools from their websites and communicate with schools directly, so their decisions are based on more solid considerations of their interests, career and job market.”Studying abroad is a growing trend for many Chinese students. With the help from the internet and events like this expo, students are getting more rational when they decide where to go and what to study in the future. And the choices for them become more diverse as the market grows
Lin Nan / CCTV