China has 39 institutions ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2018, including six new entries, and many of the country’s universities are included in the QS Asia University Rankings 2018 ranking as well. In a bid to compare with the best education destinations of the world, China is currently investing US$250 billion a year in “human capital”, which includes the subsidy of education for young people moving from rural to urban areas, in an effort to lessen the gap between the educated elite and rural workers.

Ranked 25th in the world and sixth in Asia in 2018, Tsinghua University is in the Chinese capital of Beijing and is a member of the elite C9 League; it is best for architecture, civil engineering and materials sciences. For all three of these subjects, it’s ranked in the top 10 universities in the world. The C9 League, which focuses on fostering excellence, is the Chinese equivalent of the Ivy League. Peking University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Science and Technology of China, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, Zhejiang University are the other universities in the elite fold.

The foresight shown by the West is pluripotent in China with the international collaborations of American and British Universities, like Peking University maintained a partnership with Germany’s Freie Universität Berlin since 1981. Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is the largest international university in China with dual degree-awarding powers from the University of Liverpool (UK). The university has over 10,000 students on the Chinese campus with a further 2,500 studying at Liverpool on a 2+2 study route. Duke Kunshan University, a Sino-American partnership between Duke University in the US and Wuhan University in China, offers a Duke education, which is catering to demand of a dynamic and rapidly growing China.

For admission to any of these universities, the minimum qualification is the completion of the preceding program. For example, to secure admission to a Master’s degree program in Mandarin, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in the same subject, as well as a HSK level (Proficiency in Mandarin) of 5-8. Visit http://www.hanban.org/ for more information on this aspect. The English-medium programs do not require HSK results. Instead, applicants for English-medium programs should provide recognized English proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Although, English native speakers or those who hold an academic degree taught in English are exempted. The average tuition fees in public universities range between 3,300 and 10,000 USD annually while the fees at the international universities can start from around 8,000 USD and can lead to around 15,000 USD per annum.

After receiving admit, you would apply for a student visa. An X1 student visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit China for study, advanced studies, or fieldwork for more than 6 months. An X2 visa is issued to foreign nationals who come to China with the same purpose, but for a period of less than 6 months. It is imperative that the university to which you have been admitted is accredited for offering courses or internships to foreigners. X1 holders shall apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) within 30 days upon entry into China.  They will send you a JW201 or JW202 form and an admission letter. Students cannot work on a student visa, for further details, contact the University office directly for further details.

In Beijing, China’s most expensive city, you can live fairly comfortably off of US$15 a day. Renting an apartment costs around US$250-350 a month and a meal at your local noodle joint won’t set you back more than a couple of dollars. Dormitories generally offer single rooms, double rooms or deluxe rooms. You may also request for your own roommate if you want. The cost of accommodation may vary from RMB 25 to RMB 150 per day, depending on the university, the city and the type of room. There’s no mandate on healthcare insurance as the cost of medicine is reasonable.

China produces twice the number of graduates than those produced by the United States. A record-breaking 8 million students graduated from Chinese universities in 2017. This figure is nearly ten times higher than it was in 1997, a testament to China’s building capabilities in its massive human resource. Engineering, economics and science majors in China enjoy high starting salaries and are sought after in the employment stakes. With a steady unemployment rate of 8 percent since 1999, China has seen phenomenal growth over the decade due to its strategic policies. China’s point-based work permit program has three tiers, namely A, B and C, which classify the talent for receiving a work permit. Qualified international students at Chinese universities will be granted work permits and employment licenses. Qualified students at foreign universities will first be granted work permits, followed by an employment license after arriving in China and obtaining a work visa to work in China, after completing the course of study which makes employment easy.  According to a Forbes article, a total package for an expatriate middle manager in Mainland China is now worth over $276,000 per year on average, which makes employment in China lucrative.

Chinese universities have become increasingly popular with international students. The rising numbers ranging from 52,150 in 2000 to 442,000 last year bear testimony to this fact. More than half are from the Asian sub-continent, with the next biggest number being from Africa. With their value for money and enviable partnerships with international behemoths, China is fast catching up with Singapore in the education arena. Given its many advantages, China is definitely a destination to be considered by any international student for its rich heritage as well as for being a paradigm in world-class education.