Account for 52% of foreign students at U.S. primary, middle schools
A report says the number of Chinese primary and middle school students who have chosen to study overseas has risen sharply in recent years.
Experts warned that Chinese parents should be more rational and cautious before they make such an important decision for their children.
China Education Online or eol.cn, the largest education portal website in China, published the Report of Development and Trends of Studying Abroad of China in 2016 on Friday, which shows that the fast rise in the number of Chinese middle and primary school students studying abroad. As of November 2015, 34,578 Chinese students were studying in U.S. primary and middle schools, accounting for 52 percent of all international students.
Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow at the National Institute of Educational Sciences, told the Global Times that "In China, most parents only see the disadvantages of Chinese education, such as the uneven educational resources, and focus on examinations. Therefore, they hope their children could enter a Western education system as early as possible."
An overseas study adviser surnamed Ye from Taisha, one of the largest Chinese institutes which help students apply for overseas studies, said that many outstanding Chinese students choose to go abroad at an early age, as the chance for them to get admitted to top-tier universities in China is low due to the competitive national college entrance examinations.
"However, they can study in a similar-level university or an even better one if they can afford the tuition fees overseas. Besides, the requirements are much simpler: a language test and an application process. Therefore, parents prefer to send their children to the U.S. and the UK," Ye said.
Chu said Western countries conceal some of the disadvantages of their basic education. "Before children can exercise enough self-control, they had better stay in China to finish their primary and middle school education, as Chinese education is more suitable for them during this period," Chu said, urging parents to stay rational on this issue.
The report said China is still the world's largest overseas student exporter, with 523,700 Chinese students studying abroad in 2015. English-speaking countries including the U.S. and the UK and East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea are most popular destinations for them.
It also said that in the past, the majority of Chinese overseas students were graduate students, but have since become younger. For example, 10 years ago, almost 80 percent of Chinese students in the U.S. were graduate students, but in 2015, the number had dropped to 42 percent.
Apart from the U.S., countries like the UK, Canada and Australia all implemented policies to attract younger Chinese students. The Australian government issued the Simplified Student Visa Framework to make the visa applications for younger international students and their guardians more convenient.