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Chinese govt to support international students

By Tuo Yannan in Brussels, Belgium | | Updated: 2013-05-01 14:28

The Chinese government will support about 50,000 international students in China in 2015, and the country will become the largest Asian destination for such students in 2020, high-level Chinese officials said on April 25.

About 320,000 overseas students came to China in 2012, the majority from South Korea and the United States, said Liu Jinghui, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council.

Last year, the ministry implemented the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) for the education sector, she said. According to the plan, in 2015, the number of international students in China supported by the government's scholarship program will reach 50,000.

While Europe has become the second-largest destination for Chinese students abroad, "only about 35,000 students came from EU member states to study in China last year, so we will promote China's education system in Europe now," Liu said.

Du Yubo, vice-minister of education, said that by 2020, about 500,000 international students will be in China, enabling the country to become the largest Asian destination for international students.

China and the European Union will deepen education and exchange cooperation this year, said European commission and Chinese government officials at the first meeting of the EU-China Higher Education Platform for Cooperation and Exchanges, which was held on Thursday in Brussels.

"We should learn from each other's strong points, and boost cooperation in various areas," Du said.

In 2013, the Chinese government will provide 1,087 scholarships to 27 EU countries, the ministry said.

"The Chinese government has been paying close attention to cooperation projects between China and Europe, our cooperation has a long history, a lot of achievements and potential," said Jan Truszczynski, director general for Education, Training, Culture and Youth of the European Commission.

China has established 105 Confucius Institutes in about 20 EU member states, and joined hands with the European Commission to set up three programs in three Chinese universities.

For instance, the EU has injected 17 million euros ($22.16 million) to establish the China-EU School of Law with the China University of Political Science and Law, one of the top law schools in the country.

"Every year we'll recruit about 100 students," said Huang Jin, the university's president.

In the next five years, 30,000 scholarships will be granted to Chinese students to study in Europe as well, to help improve the bilateral understanding between China and the EU, China's Ministry of Education said.

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