A long history of education and a vibrant culture make China a hot study abroad destination for students. International students from all over the world are warmly welcomed to study in China. On an average, over 300,000 students from about 180 countries pursue higher education in China every year. Chinese universities offer numerous programs for international students. While the non-degree programs teaching Chinese language and culture have been traditionally popular, international students are now opening up to the possibility of earning Chinese degrees. However, since most degree programs are taught in Chinese, a certain degree of language proficiency is necessary even as an increasing number of English-taught degree programs are now becoming available. Therefore, one can make a choice according to individual preference.
Costs of education and accommodation in China are cheaper than any European country making it the least expensive destination for overseas education. However, a basic understanding of Chinese culture and knowledge of the local language are mandatory for improving your job prospects. China is pumping substantial investment into its higher education sector by setting up world-class universities and delivering qualifications of global standard. The country has signed agreements for mutual recognition of academic qualifications with a several prominent countries including the United States, Britain, France, Japan and 65 other countries and regions. The rise of China as a dominant economy has proved that proficiency in Chinese language and first-hand experience of living in China are major tools in strengthening one's profile as a prospective employee in the global corporate scenario. Statistics prove China as the fastest growing economy in the last 30 years and one that maintained an impressive growth rate of 8% even during the global financial crisis-a feat that was beyond the imagination of most developed nations. In the last ten years, the number of Chinese colleges and universities has doubled to reach a figure of 2,409. According to China.org.cn, in 2012, China hosted about 320,000 international students. This figure indicates an increase of 55,000 students as compared to 2010. Chinese government is working actively towards its aim of attracting 500,000 overseas students by 2020. As an initiative to reach this target, China will offer scholarships to 50,000 students worldwide in the year 2015.