Chi­nese study­ing in US are as­sured af­ter elec­tion

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU RAN in Shanghai yu­ran@chi­

Any changes to im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies that might be pro­posed by US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump won’t af­fect the grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese stu­dents study­ing in the United States, a US con­sulate of­fi­cial said on Tues­day.

“We are glad to see more Chi­nese stu­dents choos­ing to study in the US for un­der­grad­u­ate, grad­u­ate and op­tional prac­ti­cal train­ing,” which con­trib­uted $11.43 bil­lion to the US econ­omy in 2015, said Brian Gi­bel, chief of the pub­lic af­fairs sec­tion at the US con­sulate gen­eral in Shanghai.

Al­though Trump said he would seek changes to im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy, any changes would not af­fect Chi­nese stu­dents un­less they de­cided to live in the US af­ter their stud­ies are com­pleted, Gi­bel said.

China, for the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year, is the top coun­try of ori­gin for those go­ing to the US to study, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 Open Doors Re­port re­leased by the US em­bassy on Tues­day. More than 320,000 stu­dents from China at­tended higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in the US in the 2015-16 aca­demic year, it said.

The num­ber of Chi­nese stu­dents en­rolled in US in­sti­tu­tions of higher ed­u­ca­tion in the pe­riod in­creased from 304,040 to 328,547, which was a year-onyear in­crease of 8.1 per­cent and ac­counted for 31.5 per­cent of all in­ter­na­tional stu­dents study­ing in the US, the re­port said.

More than 1 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional stu­dents at­tended US colleges and uni­ver­si­ties in the 2015-16 aca­demic year, an in­crease of 7.1 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Since the US and China agreed in 2014 to ex­tend stu­dent visas from one year to five, the wait­ing time for a visa ap­pli­ca­tion has been short­ened to an av­er­age of six days.

“Stu­dents no longer have to spend their hol­i­day in China mak­ing their ap­point­ments for an­other visa and go­ing through an­other visa ap­pli­ca­tion, but can get some rest and re­turn more re­freshed,” said Wil­liam J. Weiss­man, US con­sular sec­tion chief in Shanghai.

In ad­di­tion, for the se­cond year in a row, there are more Chi­nese stu­dents pur­su­ing un­der­grad­u­ate de­grees than grad­u­ate de­grees.

“We’ve no­ticed that busi­ness, science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math are no longer the only choices of Chi­nese stu­dents, and that they now pre­fer to ap­ply for ma­jors they are more in­ter­ested in, such as vis­ual arts,” said Xie Pian­pian, an ad­viser at Ed­u­ca­tionUSA, a US State De­part­ment net­work of cen­ters that ad­vise in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

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