Lately the number of Chinese student applications to American graduate programs has increased significantly (almost doubled), argues a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. It is an interesting fact that applications from prospective Chinese students account for nearly half of all international applicants to graduate programs in US.
Although China where the number of student applications has increased. Applications from Mexico grew 17 percent, while those from Brazil increased 14 percent. Canadian graduate applications climbed 9%.
Previously the survey of the Council of Graduate Schools included only the three largest sending countries, China, India, and South Korea, along with the strategically important Middle East and Turkey. So it is the first time that other countries like Canada and Taiwan, as well as Mexico and Brazil, were also examined in frame of the survey.
The group also surveyed graduate programs about overseas applications from Europe (up 7 percent) and Africa (down 5 percent). Applications from the Middle East climbed 6 percent.
Although the growth in applicants from Brazil and Mexico may be considered "substantial," it`s still too early to draw conclusions about application trends.
According to Lisa A. Tedesco, chair of the council`s Board of Directors, the growth from Brazil and Mexico is a sign of the "growing maturity" of the HE systems in these countries.
Concerning China, it is the largest sending country for international graduate students. Most graduate students in the whole world come from China. 47% of all foreign applications for in autumn of 2012 were from China.
Nathan E. Bell, director of research and policy analysis at the graduate-schools group and author of the report, notes that the actual number of Chinese students who were enrilled at the university is lower than the number of student applications coming from China. According to Mr Bell “Just 29 percent of first-time graduate students last fall were of Chinese origin. The discrepancy could be because individual Chinese students are applying to multiple American programs or because they are opting to study in other countries or at home.”
Meanwhile, the other two largest sending countries, India and South Korea, largely remained stagnant. The number of graduate applications from India increased a mere 2% in 2012. Applications from South Korea decreased 1%.
As for specialties, some of them registered particular increases: engineering (12%), business (11%), and physical and earth sciences (10%). In general about three-quarters of all international students study business, engineering, or natural sciences including computer science, mathematics, and other physical and earth sciences.
The report also says that those institutions that award large numbers of graduate degrees to foreign students have experienced stronger growth in applications. International applications increased 10 percent, on average, at the institutions that are among the 100 largest.
THE SOURCE: THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION