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China Daily Website

Chinese students in US increase 21%

Updated: 2013-11-11 17:20
By Chen Weihua in Washington (

China continues to be the top source driving the growing and record number of international students in US universities and colleges.

During the 2012-13 academic year, Chinese student enrollments increased by a hefty 21.4 percent to 235,597, compared with 194,029 in the previous academic year, according to the 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released on Monday by the Institute of International Education.

Overall, the number of international students enrolled in US universities in the 2012-13 academic year rose 7.2 percent to 819,644 students, or about 55,000 more than the previous school year.

Of all international students in the US, 28.7 percent were from China. The rise in the number of undergraduate students from China was especially dramatic, jumping 26 percent in the 2012-13 academic year.

A breakdown shows that 39.8 percent of Chinese students in the US were undergraduates while 43.9 percent were graduates. The remainder included 10.2 percent in Optional Practical Training, or OPT, and 6.1 percent in other programs. OPT is a US policy for international students on F-1 student visas to work in the US for one year after graduation to get practical training to complement their field of study.

Several other countries, such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia, have also seen large increases at undergraduate levels, thanks in large part to their governments' scholarship programs.