The Great White North has become China’s top destination for foreign high school education. A new survey has determined that 32 percent of Chinese teens studying abroad between 2007 and 2014 opted to go to Canada, making it the most popular choice, with the United States trailing only slightly behind at 31 percent.
A December story in the China Daily quoted Miao Lyu, deputy secretary-general of the Center for China and Globalization think tank, which released the survey.
She said Canada is attracting these students because of its flexible 10-year visa, which makes it easy for parents to visit their young ones while they are away. The China Daily quoted her as saying: "Chinese parents have concerns about young kids studying abroad by themselves, and often ask to move together with their children to take care of them. Canada’s 10-year visa enables them to do so easily and conveniently.”
The United States has since adopted a similar 10-year visa policy for Chinese as well.
Miao added that Canada’s low crime rates are equally appealing to Chinese parents. "Canada is more peaceful and safe in the eyes of Chinese people, from its learning environment to the social situation, and parents like their girls to live and study in such environment," the China Daily quoted her as saying. "In contrast, many Chinese people believe the US is a country where you need energy to strive and create, and that is suitable for boys.”
CCG says that appeal for male students is helping the US close the gap. The China Daily went on to site a study conducted between 2003 and 2013, which found Chinese boys prefer the to study in the US, while their female peers have a greater affinity for Canada.
The China Daily then quoted Li Peng, deputy general manager of Kentrexs Education Group, which coordinates overseas study plans for Chinese students. Li said: "We anticipate that the US will receive more Chinese high school students because of its elite education services and its new visa policy for Chinese students, visitors and businesspeople."
But such a competitive environment may instead hinder the US from overtaking its northern neighbor.
“It’s easier for Chinese children to apply for university in Canada,” Dianna Deng, a researcher at CCG, told beijingkids during a recent phone interview, citing the country’s smaller population as an asset.
“I think the competition is not so fierce, compared to the US, so maybe when the children graduate, it’s easier to find a job in Canada. the entrance for Canadian universities is easier than American universities. If you want to get into a world class university, it’s easier to get into McGill than Harvard.”