US Issued 155,000 Visas to Chinese Students Since Last Year

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China continues to be the leading country to send most international students to study in the United States.

According to media reports, the US authorities have issued more than 155,000 visas to students from China since May last year despite tensions between the two countries.

“People-to-people engagements enrich our countries … The diverse perspectives of students from countries around the world, including China, enrich US school and university campuses,” Director of Education USA Grayson Walker said as the South China Morning Post reports.

The Open Doors international students’ data indicate that during the 2019/20 academic year, a total of 372,532 students from China were enrolled at US universities and colleges, the highest figure since 2010/11, reports.

Chinese students made up 35 percent of the international student population in the US in 2019/20, contributing to the US economy an amount of $15.9 billion but the number dropped in 2020/21 during COVID-19. That academic year, the US saw a decrease in all international students, from 1,075,496 in 2019/20 to 914,095 students in 2020/21.

In the 2020/21 academic year, there were less than 320,000 Chinese students studying in the US. Despite the drop, China continues to lead the way when it comes to international students in the US.

Most Chinese students at US higher education institutions study mathematics and computer science, followed by engineering and business and management, according to data by Statista.

Other countries with a high number of students in the United States in 2020/21 were India (167,582), South Korea (39,491), Canada (25,143), Saudi Arabia (21,933), Vietnam (21,631), Taiwan (19,673), Brazil (14,000).

Last month, the US was accused of cyber espionage by China, with authorities saying that the country has been spying on Northwestern Polytechnical University and that such actions threaten China’s national security.

“China strongly condemns it. The United States should immediately stop using its advantages to steal secrets and attack other countries,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told The Washington Post.

International students, including Chinese were enrolled at the following US institutions in 2020/21:

  • New York University - 17,050 international students
  • Northeastern University - Boston - 15,880
  • Columbia University - 15,015
  • University of Southern California - 14,992
  • Arizona State University – Tempe - 13,015
  • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign - 12,838
  • University of California - San Diego - 10,824
  • Boston University - 10,646
  • Purdue University - West Lafayette - 10,500
  • University of California - Los Angeles - 10,273

The Open Doors report shows that 2,481 US students went to study in China in 2019/20, a drop from 11,639 the previous year.

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