August 21st, 2007 05:06 EST
More Opportunities for Chinese Students in U.K.
Studying abroad is now quite the vogue in China, attracting increasingly more young people. Yesterday officials from the British Embassy in Beijing said that they would continue to encourage more Chinese students to study in the United Kingdom in the future.
Minister Barbara Woodward of the British Embassy to China told China.org.cn during the press conference that in 2006 the British Embassy stamped over 20 thousand Chinese student visas. This accounts for 88 percent of the Chinese student visas, making Britain still the top destination for Chinese applicants.
She said: "The rate has jumped by nearly 20 percent from the same period last year. To date Britain is the most favored destination, with a current total of over 60,000 Chinese students."
"The number of student visas issued by the British Consulate in Shanghai has also increased by almost 50 percent compared with the same period last year."
UNESCO figures show that Chinese students comprise 14 percent of the world`s international students, making them the most populous group. Their favorite destinations for higher studies are Britain, the US and Japan.
According to Ms. Woodward handsome scholarships, better job prospects and further opportunities to pursue higher education are the main attractions of foreign universities.
"More students are receiving quality educations in Great Britain. The British government welcomes the rising numbers of international students. We allow them to spend a year working in the UK after they have graduated. Meanwhile, the quality of student applications is getting better as well," stated Ms. Woodward.
Ms. Wu Yuanyuan, senior education officer from the Culture and Education Section of the British Embassy, also attended the meeting. She told China.org.cn that the British government has launched a series of scholarships to encourage more people to further their studies in the UK.
"For example, the UK government proposed a new memorandum of understanding to continue the Joint Chevening Scholarship Program between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the China Scholarship Council. This memorandum was renewed recently for three more years. The arrangement is a flagship UK-China program responsible for sending up to 150 scholars a year to the UK to study for Master`s degrees," she noted.
She told China.org.cn that currently UK-China relations, covering a broad range of society including commercial, academic and personal links, are in the best shape ever. Students taking part in the program come from all areas of society. They form lasting connections with the UK."
She was queried whether some foreign students have problems adapting to their environment, either at home or abroad.
Ms. Wu answered: "It is an all too common situation, because problems faced by young overseas students do not appear before they are sent to a foreign culture. They must often cope alone."
"For students who haven`t reached adulthood, leaving their motherland and communicating in a language other than their mother tongue can be quite unbearable. They are in a completely strange environment. Setbacks may be inevitable, especially as they have no psychological training before going overseas. Many students have a teenage mentality before they head abroad," she explained.
Ms. Wu suggested that independence is essential for overseas study. This fact is neglected by many parents and kids because they believe that money can solve anything.
"Instead, parents should learn to change their mindset. They must realize that a life far away from home is not suitable for every child. It is risky to bet on the future of your kids. British government officials try their best to provide good service for the students," she said.
In October of this year a new visa electronic biometrics fingerprint scanning system will be adopted. Chinese overseas applicants are required to take a 10-finger quick scan and provide a digital photo.
It is the first time that this measure will be used in China. Actually the method is not new. It has been widely adopted in many other countries by the British government, according to the embassy.
(China.org.cn by Staff Reporter Wang Ke August 21, 2007)