An international student in China has spent more than 20 years studying abroad, but many of his friends are not keen on his choice.
Read more In September, a senior lecturer at Beijing’s Xiamen University, Liu Hongwei, published an article in the popular English-language academic journal Foreign Languages Online on a new way to study abroad.
The article, entitled “A new international education path that is sustainable and inclusive” argued that the current system of international education is failing international students and the world as a whole.
It called for the creation of a new international learning path, that is not reliant on financial aid, but on genuine international connections, including partnerships between Chinese and international students.
While there are still many opportunities for international students to study in China, Liu said it was becoming more difficult to find students willing to travel overseas, particularly for research or study abroad programs.
“Most of my colleagues in the field of international relations are still skeptical about the need for international exchange programs,” Liu said.
“In the past few years, they have become more open to the idea, and many students have already applied.”
The problem is not just the lack of international exchange options, but the lack on quality, Liu added.
He noted that while China has a relatively high international standard, there is a large gap between international and domestic students, with some international students studying in Chinese institutions, while others are studying abroad.
The lack of a reliable, well-established exchange program, Liu argued, is the main reason why Chinese universities are struggling to offer the best educational experience for international study.
“International exchange programs in China are generally not very successful,” Liu wrote.
“We are seeing a lot of students in China with poor international studies, with a lot fewer opportunities to study internationally, and a lot less support for the international exchange.”
Chinese universities have also struggled to attract international students for many years.
Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1989, more than a quarter of Chinese universities have closed.
The closure of Chinese-language schools has resulted in a drop in international students, particularly from Europe and the United States.
In the early 2000s, the Chinese government launched a national “China Promise” program, which promised to promote education and the exchange of ideas among Chinese students.
The program, however, has largely failed to help international students because of its focus on China’s own domestic politics and the limited capacity to accommodate international students with other nationalities.
Although there have been efforts to improve the quality of the education in Chinese- and international-language institutions, there have also been many challenges.
The government’s “China Pledge” has not made much difference, according to Liu.
There are only about 300 Chinese universities with a dedicated international exchange program.
The international student shortage is also a major problem.
In 2016, China’s government released a national report on international students that called for an increase in the number of international students from 5,000 to 10,000.
Liu said the government is still waiting for the results of the new National Human Resources and Social Security Bureau study, which aims to make the recruitment and retention of international student programs more efficient and effective.