Record numbers from China and Hong Kong are applying to study in the UK. But as the Chinese new year gets underway, UK-China policy links are coming under renewed strain.
Could 2019 be the best year yet for UK-China university links? UCAS figures reported by Fiona McIntyre confirm that the UK remains the destination of choice for students from China and Hong Kong. There were 21,000 applicants this year, up from just over 17,000 last year and exceeding the 18,855 applicants from Wales. Astonishingly, close to a third of the UK’s 350,000 postgraduate students are from China and Hong Kong.
China’s representatives in the UK certainly think this is all worth celebrating. They are meeting their targets as laid out in paragraph 50 of China’s education plan, on expanding international cooperation. At the end of last month, a gala event at Sadler’s Wells Theatre hosted by the Chinese embassy in London was attended by representatives from 30 UK universities, including Baroness Amos, director of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.