Chinese students turn to UK as China-US ties sour
By Li Qiao
Global Times

A view of London Photo: VCG

More Chinese students are applying for universities in the UK and other countries aside from the US in 2020, citing fears that the restriction of the Trump administration will cast a shadow over their academic life in the US.

"It could be called an opportunity for the UK to attract Chinese students this year as many Chinese students are concerned about studying in the US because of its failure to contain the epidemic and hostile attitude toward Chinese students and scholars," Bai Limin, an expert in charge of undergraduate program applications in ZMN International Education, a Beijing-based educational consulting agency, told the Global Times.

The number of Chinese students applying for undergraduate degrees in the UK rose by 23 percent to 24,000 as of June 30, compared with the same period last year, according to data on UK Undergraduate Applications 2020 released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Source: Universities nad Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Graphics: GT

In addition, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries have become more and more popular choices for overseas students, according to the report.

Restrictions on Chinese students' visas, expulsion on Chinese scholars and sanctions on Chinese universities have prompted Chinese students and parents to worry about studying in the US. As a result, the UK, home to many of the world's top universities, is a good choice for them, Bai said.

The number of students seeking consultancy for British universities rose by 20 to 25 percent, compared with last year in Bai's agency, and the number toward US dropped by 40 percent.

Bai started to learn more about British university application this year, after 15 years of working as an application consultant on US universities.

Although the UK, influenced by the US, showed a cold attitude toward China recently, it is unlikely to follow the American radical approach of treating Chinese students unfair, Bai said, noting that the UK should calmly grab this piece of cake to improve its education income.

Around 120,000 Chinese students study in the UK, paying £1.7 billion a year in tuition fees, the Daily Mail reported. At nine of Britain's leading universities, Chinese students account for more than a fifth of tuition revenue. British education is industrialized, and the tuition fees of overseas students have become an important part of British financial revenue, Bai explained.