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Yingyi Ma Speaks to The World About Declining Number of Chinese Students Studying at US Universities

July 11, 2023

The World

Yingyi Ma

Yingyi Ma

For international students, the most popular place to study has long been the United States, which has had the best teachers, labs and innovation that few countries could match. 

China has traditionally sent the most students to the U.S. But American colleges and universities have started to see a decline in those numbers.

Yingyi Ma, professor of sociology and author of “Ambitious and Anxious: How Chinese College Students Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education” (Columbia University Press, 2020), says that around 2018-2019, American universities began to see a slight decrease in the number of Chinese students.

“And then the pandemic hit,” Ma says. “And with the rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China...[it] made Chinese students hesitate to come to the United States to study.”

She ads that the interest in studying abroad, in general, has declined significantly, and that Chinese students are trying to stay closer to to home, traveling to places like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong or even the U.K.

Read more in The World article,  “Is the US still the No. 1 education destination?

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