China plans to increase the quota for government sponsored overseas students, an official with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) said Monday.
The country will offer 20,000 overseas students scholarships in 2010, doubling that of 2007, Liu Jinghui, CSC secretary-general, said at the China-ASEAN education exchange week in Guiyang, Guizhou province.
Overseas students who are awarded scholarships will be given subsidies covering living and tuition expenses, Liu said.
"China has paid great attention to education, and overseas students are also very important," Liu said.
He said these students will help Chinese universities become more international.
The country is expected to welcome 500,000 overseas students by 2020, including self-sponsored ones, Liu said.
China increased the living subsidy for overseas students by almost 50 percent this year from that of last year.
It is now 1,400 yuan ($200) per month for an undergraduate student.
The monthly subsidy for overseas graduates and PhD candidates was also increased to 1,700 yuan and 2,000 yuan respectively this year.
Among all subjects offered to international students, Chinese language, medicine and management are the most popular.
China's environment for international students has become more friendly with better management, living, schooling and medical insurance, Cao Guoxing, director of the international cooperation and exchange department of the Ministry of Education, said earlier.
The ministry adopted a number of measures last year to enhance the development of studying in China including the use of English as a medium of instruction.
Diplomas awarded to foreign students meet the highest standards.
China received more than 190,000 overseas students last year, almost five times that of 1997.
They came from 188 countries and regions, and 5.2 percent of them were offered Chinese government scholarships.
South Korea, Japan, the United States, Vietnam and Thailand were the top five countries that had the largest number of international students in China last year.
Xinhua contributed to the story