British Universities: Chinese Student Survey

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An astonishing 20% of UK postgraduate students at some UK universities are from Mainland China. That's one of the findings of a recent survey carried out by, the on-line directory of British Education. Using the Freedom of Information Act, How2UK contacted the leading British universities to find out the exact numbers of Chinese students currently enrolled. The numbers of students coming from Mainland China has skyrocketed in recent years and UK education has benefited enormously from their influx, but are potential new students from China becoming increasingly turned-off by this trend?

Britain's position as the number one destination for Chinese students wishing to study overseas was confirmed by How2UK's recent poll of UK universities. It reveals the extent to which British education has been successful in marketing itself to the emerging super-power.

"Whilst Australia, Europe and North America are all enjoying the fruits of this unprecedented study exodus, there is no doubt that the UK has been the most active player in this field," say Mike Padilla of the leading UK universities website,

Every UK university pays regular recruitment visits to China, as many as 6 promotional visits per year for some leading institutions. "The results have been impressive and the work is paying dividends but universities will take this market for granted at their peril," warns Mike. "We commissioned this survey because one prime concern for Chinese students considering study in Britain is - how many fellow Chinese will be in my class?", contacted over 50 of the country's leading institutions. The results are at once impressive and potentially worrying for the future.

On average, each university has approximately 550 Chinese students, that's an average of 4.5% of the total student population. The numbers become more startling at postgraduate level, the level at which most Chinese students consider studying overseas.

"Studying abroad at undergraduate level, in any Western country, is well beyond the means of your average Chinese family", explains Mike, "at postgraduate level, where you can complete your studies in just 1-2 years, it becomes more feasible".

3 universities of the 50 institutions surveyed (Leicester, Loughborough & Stirling), reported Chinese postgraduate populations of 20 percent or more, meaning one in five students are from Mainland China.

"It's an incredible testament to the strength of British education", says Mike, "that so many Chinese students want to come to this country. Remember these are largely self-funding students and so they are investing an awful lot of money to come here."

However, is there a potential downside to this popularity? "Chinese students tend to study a narrow range of subjects, focused around Business. That means that in such departments the percentage of Chinese students within individual classes can be well in excess of even 50%. Certain institutions need to beware", say Mike, "Thanks to the internet, the classes with too many Chinese are becoming well known and the good applicants are steering clear of them".

The top 10 universities for total number of Chinese students are:

1. Manchester: (1383)

2. Warwick: (1150)

3. Imperial: (1133)

4. Nottingham: (1115)

5. Northumbria: (979)

6. Loughborough: (811)

7. Birmingham: (809)

8. York: (709)

9. Newcastle: (687)

10. UCL: (681)

The full results can be found via the homepage or Via this Link


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