How Chinese students are changing universities around the world


These students are recreating China’s most
popular dating show on their college campus. – So when I heard there’s going to be a Chinese
TV style dating show, I was thinking like 50 people in a classroom. But this is on a whole different level. And it’s all happening in Illinois. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
enrolls more than 5,000 Chinese students. So many it’s been called “the University
of China at Illinois.” And it’s part of a global trend. In the US alone, there are now six times more
Chinese students than there were just two decades ago. They account for one-third of all international
students and contributed nearly $14 billion to the US economy in 2017. But what are the implications of so many students
and so much money coming from just one country? We’re traveling around the world to find
out how China is reshaping…basically everything. This week…UNIVERSITIES. I’m Isabelle Niu reporting for Quartz. You’re watching Because China. Xianghua Feng is a fourth year accounting
student from China. Chinese students like Xianghua are here because
of two converging trends. The first is pretty straightforward: More Chinese students study abroad than ever before, thanks to the country’s fast-expanding middle class. The second reason is that universities in
rich, English-speaking countries have been admitting more and more international students
because they need money. Professor Hans de Wit studies international
higher education. He says this is a relatively recent shift. – So when did universities begin to see international
students as a revenue source? – That depends a little bit by country. The countries which were on the forefront
were Australia and the United Kingdom. British and Australian universities introduced
full international fees in the 1980s. Universities began aggressively marketing
and recruiting. By 2010, the number of international students
jumped by 600% in the UK and 2,000% in Australia. In the US, it happened a little later, partly because higher education has always been pretty expensive. – Tuition is very high for both local
students and international students, so there was not an active need until recently to recruit
international students for income reasons. Then 2008 happened. Funding for state universities was already
in decline before 2008, but the recession made things much worse. So state universities were forced to find
revenue elsewhere, and they found it in China. This chart sums it up. Here’s the growth trend of Chinese students
in the US before the recession. And this is post-recession. If we think of higher education as an export,
then this is one area where the US has a huge trade surplus with China. All the Chinese students I talked to say they chose a state school because they can get more bang for their buck. That’s true, even though a Chinese undergrad at a state university like UIUC pays about $20,000 more in tuition every year
than an in-state student. Universities use revenue from international students to subsidize other operations, including creating scholarships for Americans. And the numbers show that it’s not just good
for the school, it’s good for the American economy. – They shop in the local stores, they travel
back and forth to China, they spend money in terms of their social life or traveling
within the United States, so every part of the United States benefits from that. But there are also serious risks with relying
on Chinese students’ tuition. – If you are becoming so dependent on foreign
students and in particular on one group, Chinese students, then your sustainability
as an institution becomes very fragile. The business school gets about 20% of its revenue from more than 800 Chinese students enrolled here. – And that’s a big enough number that that’s something you want to be able to protect yourself against. This is the dean of the business school at UIUC,
Jeff Brown. In 2017, his school did something unprecedented. The business school and engineering school
together took out a $60 million insurance policy, in case of a sudden drop in Chinese
student enrollment. – As far as we know we’re the first to do
this anywhere in the world. And we’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from other
universities about how to do it. I know a lot of places are interested in doing
it. And that deal was before President Trump’s trade war with China. – I think the risks that we identified
back four years ago is still very much there. One could argue actually that the risk is perhaps elevated. And making sure international students
succeed takes resources. UIUC has invested a lot in programs that help
international students adjust to American campus life. The university even broadcasted its football
games in Mandarin in 2015. – I think the more that our domestic students and the students from China get to interact with each other and frankly I think that’s not just good for the
University of Illinois. I think that’s good for the world. But differences in language and culture make
those kinds of exchanges more difficult for everyone. – I think that there’s definitely a stigma there, that they are kind of viewed as a different group of people that have different interests, I think if there was more interaction between the groups and there was less divide, it would only help the campus grow. If students go through the entire four years of college without interacting with the wider community, or improving their English, that’s a missed opportunity for both domestic students and the international students themselves. That doesn’t mean students aren’t happy. Those I talked to said they’re creating their own version of the American college experience. – Socially, I’ve had a blast. I’ve met lots of great people, lots of great friends. I personally think my college experience would have changed really at all with international students or without. Again, I believe that college is what you make of it.

100 comments

Fewer and fewer Chinese students coming to the US in the future because trump does not recognize the money Chinese students pay in the balance of payments. Then he slaps tariffs on Chinese goods.

Correction: Universities don't 'need' more money – they want more money. They've become businesses, and in doing so – and turning a blind eye to language requirements has reduced the prestige their degree certificates. This is going to have a lasting negative impact for everyone involved.

Hey, under the Australia graphic you have the Victorian Parliament, not the national parliament, but for the UK you have the Westminster Parliament, what’s up with that?

Intellectual property theft is a BS excuse to impose permanent taxes (tariffs) on importers on down to consumers. If POTUS is so worried about IPT he would restrict Chinese from research jobs and high education access where both are ways to take 'intellectual property' back home.
Oh and every foreign student sits where a domestic student didn't 'qualify'.
All for money. Middle class is disappearing and the 2008 economic crisis simply made domestic families and their students less able to pay for higher education. Them not being able to afford to go makes it economically pleasant for colleges/universities to allow foreign students. Horray they help the economy! What about domestic students? During the recent trade announcement POTUS even made a strong point of saying Chinese students are more than welcome. Do a standard IQ test on Chinese student applicants and see how little they know about regular things outside of numbers. The academic credentials they bring from China or Japan are apples to the oranges of domestic students. Need to legislate a fixed percentage of foreign students at US campuses. Make America great again the proper way.

Educated people make our world better.
Let's hope they learn what they want to learn, instead of what their parents forced them to learn 🙂

US colleges and universities do not pay taxes so the surrounding community is paying for this lack of revenue via increased taxes. This means the public is subsidizing foreign students while their own kids can't get in. Sad.

The power of money and number,
Compare to india and indonesia which also have big number, but the money,tech and industry are behind china, especially indonesia.

Thanks Quartz for the CCP propaganda. Dont you loved CCP monies? CCP will use this video as proof of their hegemony on people outside China. Good Job.

Same thing in Germany, lots of chinese students. But they do not interact much with other non-chinese students, which is a complete shame. Imagine if generations of chinese, eruopeans and americans partied together during their youth. At least it would give you some pause before bombing your earlier jäger-bomb buddies…

When many americans complain about college/uni fee is expensive meanwhile many asian students in states spend out of pocket and no loans to pay their studies. Hmm…nothing is expensive you're just broke lol

the worst part about the chinese is that they are like drones with no opinions of their own. go around ask about what they think about china and its government 9/10 will say the same thing which is "democracy is important is china" or something similar and will argue that the authoritarian system is better . i have met few who insists that all the freedom that americans enjoy is actually bad and it is america who should learn from china. such an hypocrite.
the other thing i noticed is that the chinese almost refuse to learn english as if they compel you to learn manderine instead. They live in a western country and yet have no respect to learn the language of the country. i have personally met few who dont speak english at all and has a translator with them when they actually come to talk to the professors. i dont know how they got it in the first place. what ielts exam did they give ? o_O . the third worst thing relates to the first and is also prevelent among indians is that they bring their toxic nationalism to the country they are coming to and almost no tolerance for opinions that is contrary to the one their government force fed them all their lives. lol. pathetic. and these are the people who we are giving permanent residency to ?

I'm sad that this feature failed to highlight some of recent occasion, where the Chinese students suddenly export the propaganda and policies of their country. In several events, where students express support for the Uyghurs and Hongkong protesters, some Chinese students violently disturbs the events, which actually helps drive the goal of the event.

I am going to college right now. It is absolutely a business. My professors have talked about the next recession and the school has a plan in place. In the future, new students will be FORCED to go learn abroad because it is more profitable this way. I firmly believe that the best thing we can do for higher education is to cut funding and restrict how schools generate money. Our universities should be for Americans and do what needs to be done: to teach. I suggest you look at universities in your area and see how much is spent on activities that enrich a student's school culture experience. A lot of money goes into places where they try to make the college experience a fun one so when that student graduates they are more likely to donate annually. The last recession completely changed the college landscape. The next one will do the same. My school is making freshman and sophomore students live in campus. If you are a freshman then you cannot have a parking pass. I hear many stories around the nation and will only get worse.

As I know they are not only just study. They also working part time in restaurants or other small shop or delivery pizza or food. They got pay cash so they don’t need to pay tax.

Damn, it really shows when all of these colleges have to accept more international students for money in order to give american students financial aid. College prices suck.

For the money American students pay, COLLEGES DONT GIVE STUDENTS JACK SHIT!!!. THATS whats wrong with the college experience!!!! and THATS why americans say college is a SCAM!!! They should also PRIORITIZE NATIVE BORN STUDENTS over foreigners!! The only reason they don't is because ACADEMIA IS ANTIAMERICAN to its core!!!

1:53 does England not count as a “rich “ English speaking country
Edit : nvm they included us in 2:22
But what about all the other countries who have better grades than the English speaking ones

I study in a Portuguese university… I do see an increase in the number of Chinese students… But we are talking dozens here, not hundreds or thousands…

IT A GREAT COMMUNIST PLOT. THEY WILL SEND CHINESE HERE TO WORK IN OUR UNIVERSITIES AND HIGH TECH SCIENCE AND MILITARY COMPANIES. STEAL OUR TECH. ALSO THEY COME BUY OUR REAL ESTATE, BUY OUR UNIVERSITIES WITH HIGH CHINESE ENROLMENT, AND THEN WHEN THEY DONT GET WHAT THEY WANT THEY WILL WEILD THEIR ECONOMIC MIGHT AGAINST US. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

I see this daily, Chinese international students driving G-Wagons, richer than the average American student by far. Sad, but an undeniable reality. Our goal shouldn't be to drive them away, but to prove that the US is a holistically better country. However, the lack of integration is stark and prevents most Chinese from just going home after college. The US could desperately use the human capital and creativity of the Chinese students. Sadly, Universities treat them as piggy banks, instead of considering them as long term investments beneficial to the US as a whole

This is common to human nature. Human beings do it.

Westerners live exactly the same way in Africa (gated compounds, exclusive social gatherings) – they don't interact with the locals. The only ones that do are missionaries, researchers/graduate students and eccentrics. (Think about the "Green Zone" in Iraq and the fortress like embassies US diplomats tend to hide inside of in much of the developing world).

I had the same experience as a student in the UK, it was a lot better and a lot less complicated to interact with fellow Africans (The British tend to like to keep to themselves).

Can anything be done to change this? I'm not sure – you can't pay the humongous amounts these students pay for tuition and be "compelled to change your behavior". Capitalism 101 means they will simply take their money elsewhere.

Surprise me China didn't recruit more researchers and higher institution professionals to teach in China instead. Keep those cash inward while boost local economy, more under privilege students can afford access to those higher educations.

IMPORTANT:
There is almost nothing in this video about the bad social and economic side of the changes. I am not really familiar with the US education system, but here in the EU, specially in eastern europe, this is causing a lot of problem. We need to mention the increasing privatization of the public schools, high schools and universities. There is a lot less opportunity and support for the local (and not local) students from the low social classes, because of the dropping rate of the government-sponsored scholarship and the increasing tuition fee. Not the mention the increasing rent and real estate prices and the gentrification.

When I came to University of Central Missouri, i expected all the faculty to be American but to my chagrin all of them are Chinese. Then i was pretty much disatisfied with thier teaching because of their thick accent and rude methods.

Greater Indian Students in US : Meets with everyone & have a white girlfriend

Chinese students in US : Always in Chinese circle, no/less interaction with local/non-chinese students

Mainlanders = enjoying the freedom and privilege to study in the US but also suppressing freedom of speech with their "One China" mentality

同样一个中国年轻人的俺却去不起美国读大学。。Im a Young Chinese but I can't afford the fee studying in US college。。。crying crying

Just shut up, and take the money. They pay way more than the locals, at least $40k a years.
In Australia, me and my friends are paying 2x more than the locals, and we are not even Chinese. Basically, International student are subsidize your westerner education

International students pay more because they don't pay taxes….
Why is the difference in tuition surprising?

All around the word countries alot certain privileges (as well as responsibilities and obligations) to their own citizens.

You have the privilege to study abroad and yet you decide to keep yourself in a bubble. That is an opportunity for real life education wasted, because interaction with people of a different race, culture, ethnicity is an art and a very valuable skill to have.
I also studied abroad and now I have friends and colleagues on 5 continents, and at this point there is noone I don’t know how to talk to.

These are all cash cow universities that deliver sub poor education that you can learn from the Internet. International tuition fee is a blatant rip off.

It’s great having international students from China. It’s only bad when they try to impose the China’s communist party ideology on the university. One example would be when a Tibetan student was elected as the student union leader at university of Toronto Scarborough, she got multiple death threats from Chinese international students that the RCMP had to get involved.

integrate?
saying bro bro,dude,dude,and hanging out to be drunk, then find a club taking drugs while dancing, finally find a girl to go fking with?

big picture folks. China is ripping the US off by unfair unilateral tariffs, state sponsored IP theft and forced IP transfer, State sponsored postal subsidies that make shipping essentially free to Chinese manufacturers. the manufacturing base in the US has been gutted and now you see gucci wearing Chinese take over US unis. Trump is the first president to address this issue head on. Fair trade or no trade with China. remember to vote Trump2020

As someone from an hour away from U of I, she totally mispronounced Urbana. Also people who are local to the area can’t get into the engineering programs because it is filled with Chinese students. My cousin couldn’t get into the program until after going to community college because of that. I also lived in China for a year and one of my students wore a couple of U of I shirts to school which was crazy. 谢谢

Chinese have much higher SAT scores, and pay more money. That's why. It Jack's up the school's SAT rankings. Look at the Boston University scores from now and 10 years ago. BU is like 1/4 international

In New Zealand I don't even notice the Chinese students because I think they're New Zealanders lol

Our population in Auckland the biggest city is 25% Asian 25% Samoan lol 50% everyone else lol

I like what I hear about international students.
Black Americans have been left so behind they will never catch up.
Small minded with big egos

I hope chinese government doesn't start getting control of free speech on american university campuses like it did with the NBA

I hope China can fix their own shit so that young students don't have to flee to the west to take over the educational resources.

Peggy Blumenthal: they shop in the local stores (such as fresh international market) and they spend money in terms of their social life (by hanging out with other foreigners from Mainland China and only eating foreign food from back home) and every part of the United States (where there are Mainland Chinese foreigners) benefits from that. Peggy Blumenthal, a stupid American woman who truly has her head shoved like a cork up her own ass!

@Step 4head Hold up! I'd like you to clarify what you just stated. Are you saying that because International students don't pay taxes, the colleges are right to charge them more for tuition? If that's what you mean then you really don't know what you're talking about.

I'm an international student and I pay taxes every year. In the US there are no VAT returns so I still pay the same price. The next thing I know is that when I get to school at the start of the semester, I end up paying 10 times more for tuition compared to the in state resident. That same resident is also gonna get financial aid to pay for their textbooks as well and even school supplies from the college bookstore. When they get their books, they buy all the recommended and optional books as well. What do you think the total comes to for them? Almost no cost.

Me on the other hand? I'm not even going to a four year college and I feel terrible. Okay the tuition I can understand. VAT? Maybe. Because we're in the States not the UK. Books??? I don't even buy all the books and I spend $2000 for 6 books for 5 courses (Half if which I don't end up using but can't return yet because the professor says not to). Not including lab materials and school supplies. Oh and fun fact, I have to take extra classes compared to the regular student so that I keep my Visa valid. The minimum number of credits the international student must take is 12. Compare that to the 9 credit per semester classes that the regular student who doesn't have a major yet can take. And if you think one extra class is nothing, think again. Because on top of all that I still have to make time to get a job to keep up with living expenses 😒.

Now the whole purpose of going to college is to get a degree to get a job. To get that degree you need to do well on tests and exams. To do well on tests and exams you've gotta study. To study you need to have time to study. Where's the time?

By the way, note that I haven't even gotten to joining an actual program for said desired degree. The above commentary has just been on taking core classes. The $2000 was just for books and I didn't add the $5000 for tuition and the $1000 for mandatory insurance. The combined total comes to approximately $8000 for one semester of core classes at a two year college. So how about a four year college? Multiply the aforementioned total times 5 and you've got a nice fortune going on there.

Am I rich? Nope. Family rolling in millions? Nah. I'm middle class at best. So if richer international students are flashing their designer stuff around I won't bloody blame them for it. Because I sure as hell would do the same if I was in their position. Why? They get the privilege to do that if their parent's money isn't going down the drain on their education. These same rich kids are still getting the As and 4.0s and the reward for their hard work is the extra allowance. The 'rents are happy, the child is happy. A win-win in that situation.

The average middle-class international student? They don't get that privilege. The 'rents are actually struggling to get that tuition so the student tries to make up the living cost by working part-time legally in the foreign country. Whew.. I gotta end this comment quick.

All in all it's still shitty. So much of my aloofness and disdain when associating with other students (both fellow international and regular citizens) is not because I feel better than them or anything like that. It's more like I'm tired and to bothered with other important things to try socializing with you; because at the end of the day you all would want to head to the nearest bar/restaurant and I need to pay my rent and bills. My relationship with my classmates are limited to the college campus – classrooms and libraries and that's it.

I don't think I need to explain more. If I misunderstood you then I apologise and we're all good. Still I had to make this comment.

They don't change anything here in Germany since our universities are run by the government and not privately owned burger joints in the US that have to be profitable and give everyone with money a degree.

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