China to give international students increased work options
China’s government is already exploring allowing international students in Beijing and Shanghai to take part-time jobs or internships off campus. This, after they obtain requisite approvals, from their academic institutions and the entry and exit administrative authorities. And in Shanghai a pilot policy enables freshly-graduated international students to accept internships or to start their own business – in a special innovation zone – for as long as two years after graduation.
Already, thanks to changes like these, China is receiving more Indian students than the UK, reported TOI in January. In 2016, there were 18,171 Indians in China compared to 18,015 in the UK. By 2015, the number of Indian students studying in China reached 16,694, compared to 765 just 10 years previously.
China Daily quoted a Renmin University official as saying there is an increasing demand for international students at the university to apply for internships to take advantage of China’s rapid development.
“China is growing quite fast, with new and innovative industries springing up every day. I want to seize this growth opportunity and grow with China,” said Australian student Thomas Linnette to China Daily.
Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization, an independent think tank based in Beijing, said it makes sense for the country to more broadly expand such innovative work options as they will reinvigorate China’s workforce development.
“Foreign employees can give domestic enterprises an advantage as they expand overseas, plus it’s only logical that these graduates want to put into practice what they have learned,” he said.
South Korea continues to send the maximum number of students to China, but a close second is the US and Thailand comes next. Pakistan and India follow. When this decade opened, China was not on most students’ radar; now, having made rapid strides in the unlikely field of higher education, it is attracting several thousand foreign students every year. Most of them are studying humanities, followed by medicine.