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Study in China

International students should find increasing levels of investment in tertiary education to be a compelling reason to study in China.

In 2012, China reached its target of spending 4% of GDP on education. And it is currently investing US$250 billion a year in “human capital” (source: New York Times), 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 laborers.

The number of colleges and universities in China has doubled in the last decade to 2,409. The country’s current five-year plan, which extends to 2015, focuses on many development priorities that are appealing to western college graduates. And many Chinese universities are focusing on developing technologies that increase competitiveness with the West.

Key initiatives include Project 211, which aims to bring 100 Chinese universities up to a world-class standard, and Project 985, which aims to create an even more elite group of universities. Project 985 has resulted in the creation of the C9 league, which has ambitions of becoming something like the US Ivy League.

Fast Facts

  • The world’s largest national population, more than 1.3 billion people - 20% of the Earth's entire population
  • More than 90% of the population live in the eastern third of the country
  • Full official name is the People’s Republic of China
  • Capital city is Beijing, largest city is Shanghai
  • Main language is Mandarin Chinese, which has more native speakers than any other language
  • The world’s fastest growing and second largest economy, after overtaking Japan in 2011
  • Fourth-largest country by area (after Russia, Canada and the US)
  • The only country other than Russia and US to have launched a manned space flight; government has set target of establishing a space station by 2020
  • Under Communist rule since 1949
  • The world’s second-largest oil consumer, after the US
  • Very diverse climate - from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast
  • Chinese cities frequently appear in reports on the world's most polluted places
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