Market News & Reports




  • The United Kingdom has beaten the United States to become the most popular destination for overseas Chinese students, according to a recent survey.
  • The news comes amid an intense tariff war between Beijing and Washington.
  • More and more of Chinese pupils are turning away from American schools and universities due to concerns over their visas and job prospect across the Pacific Ocean.



By Tracy You for Mailonline on 29 May 2019




A fifth of Chinese students put the UK as their favourite, according to a survey while 17.05 per cent pick the U.S. as their desired country for higher education. The news comes as Beijing and Washington are engaging in an intense tariff war.


Many Chinese students with plans to study in the U.S. have concerns over visas China is the largest source country of international students for both countries. 


More Chinese students say they wish to study in the United Kingdom as they turn away from the United States over concerns about visas and job prospect amid a trade war.



Studying in America used to be the biggest dream of millions of pupils in the Far East, but now many of them have changed their mind. 


According to Chinese education consultancy EIC Education, more than a fifth (or 20.14 per cent) of Chinese students say they have plans to study in the United Kingdom while only 17.05 per cent favour the United States.


'The UK has a lot of highly competitive majors, such as civil engineering, architecture, transport planning, etc.,' Jin Ran, the Vice President of EIC Education told Chinese newspaper The Elite Reference while explaining the UK's advantages over other countries.


Australia (15.08 per cent), Hong Kong (13.02 per cent) and Canada (9.19 per cent) took the third to the fifth place in the report.



A recent study reveals that around a fifth of the respondents chose the United Kingdom as their first choice of the country to study in, compared to 17.05 per cent who picked America.




China is the largest source country of international students for both the United Kingdom and the United States. 


In the 2017-2018 school year, 106,530 Chinese students were enrolled into UK universities - a 21 per cent increase on the figure from four years ago.


Over the same period, more than 363,000 Chinese students studied in US colleges and universities. The figure is about 33 per cent of the total international student population in the United States. 


But Chinese pupils started to shun the United States after the Trump Administration blasted China's 'unfair' trade policies and imposed tariffs on Chinese goods since early last year, according to money-transfer firm Easy Transfer. 



The number of Chinese students wanting to study in the United States started to dwindle after the Trump Administration imposed tariffs on Chinese goods since early last year, said a source.



The Beijing-based firm helps students transfer money abroad to pay for their tuition fees and living expenses. 


It told South China Morning Post that the number of Chinese students wishing to study in the United States had dwindled due to concerns they may not be able to get a visa.


Washington has been tightening visas for Chinese students. 


The Trump Administration reportedly mulled the idea of banning visas for Chinese nationals to study in the U.S. over fears of spying last year.


The proposal was shelved due to concerns about its economic and diplomatic impact, according to the Financial Times.


Earlier this month, a group of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the United States.


Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said China was seeking to 'steal its way up the economic ladder' through various agents Beijing sent to the U.S., including 'graduate students and researchers'.


'China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation in any way it can from a wide array of businesses, universities and organizations,' he said.

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