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China the new education hub for M’sians
Last updated on 24/08/2014 - 17:44
by Raphael Wong
LUMPUR: Taiwan has long been the destination of choice for Malaysian
students from Chinese-medium schools looking to further their studies
It has many attractions, among which are a conducive environment for educational pursuits and competitive fees.
China is slowly but surely catching up with Taiwan as the education
centre of the Orient. It is taking big strides in efforts to enrol
students from all over the world.
Taiwan, faced with a declining
birth rate and brain drain, is welcoming Malaysian students with open
arms. It even offers scholarships for undergraduate studies, master’s
programmes and doctorate courses. Apart from exemption from paying
tuition and miscellaneous fees, students also get monthly subsidies of
NT$15,000 to N$20,000 (RM1,611 to RM2,148).
But China is not
content to be left behind. The Chinese government has undertaken many
initiatives to place the country on the global education map.
country now boasts 2,409 colleges and universities. It invests about
US$250 billion (RM807 billion) a year in human capital development,
which includes education subsidies.
In recent years, the country
has managed to attract many Malaysian students, according to the United
Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong).
2011, a total of 4,338 Malaysians were studying in China. The following
year, it surged 40% to 6,045. Last year, there were 6,126 Malaysian
students in Chinese universities.
universities are gaining recognition in Malaysia. The Malaysian
Qualification Agency – the country’s accreditation body – has recognised
820 Chinese universities, thus ensuring all degrees from these
varsities are accepted by the Malaysian government.
nation of one billion Chinese speakers is also breaking new ground by
offering degree, master’s and doctorate programmes in the English
According to the Chinese Education Ministry’s website, 34 universities now offer courses in English.
are mainly in science and IT-related subjects, but a few also offer
business, humanities and art programmes in English. These include
English language, English literature, law, accounting and education.
a result, China is quickly becoming the most sought-after Asian
education destination for many students across the globe. Data from the
China Scholarship Council shows that in 2011, 292,611 international
students from 194 countries and regions are studying in 660 of its
universities, research institutes and other educational institutions.
Institute of International Education ranks China as the fifth most
popular destination for American students. In 2011/2012, it had 14,887
students from the United States.
China has also upped its ante by
introducing key initiatives, such as Project 211 to raise 100 Chinese
universities to world-class standard and Project 985 to create an elite
group of universities.
The “C9 League”, which is
akin to the United States’ Ivy League, is one of the achievements of
Project 985. The QS World University Rankings has rated three Chinese
universities among the top 100. They are Peking University, at 45th
place, Tsinghua University (48) and Fudan University (88). The Times
Higher Education World University Ranking places the first two
universities at 45th and 50th spots respectively.
In the Asian
University Top 100 rankings, Times Higher Education has Peking and
Tsinghua universities at fourth and sixth places respectively.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is the country’s only university to make
it into this category, taking the 87th spot.
According to China’s
national English weekly news magazine China.org.cn, about 320,000
foreign students studied in the country in 2012 compared with 265,000
two years earlier. China, the magazine says, intends to increase its
foreign student intake to 500,000 by next year.
To meet its objective, it plans to provide scholarships for 50,000 international students.
are no statistics on the number of Malaysian students currently in
China pursuing their tertiary education in the English medium. According
to K.Y. Lee of Pacific Region Education Consultancy, China has many
compelling factors to make it comparable to other well-known education
destinations such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Australia.
of the main factors is the cost. The cost of studying in China is a
fraction of that in the United States or Australia. Depending on the
courses pursued, education in China can even be cheaper than in many
private higher educational institutes in Malaysia.
business, humanities and arts courses, the fees are from RMB14,000 to
RMB26,000 (RM7,228 to RM13,424) per year; and for science, engineering
and agriculture programmes, the fees range from RMB15,600 to RMB33,800
(RM8,054 to RM17,452). For those studying medicine, sports science,
music or performing arts, fees range from RMB21,000 to RMB52,000
(RM10,844 to RM26,854).
The cost of living is also low. Food and
accommodation will cost about RM1,000 a month in cities such as Shanghai
and Beijing but in other areas, it can be as low as RM500.
there is a lack of awareness of the potential of China as an education
provider in the English medium. “The apprehension is unfounded as most
of these universities are older and more well-known than the local
public universities,” Lee says.
He believes many of
these universities can offer a more wholesome educational experience for
their students than institutions that only have city campuses. This is
because these universities have campus grounds sprawled over a large
For example, the Peking University campus lies
on the site of the Qing Dynasty royal gardens, thus retaining many of
its traditional landscape, including traditional houses, gardens,
pagodas as well as many notable historical buildings and structures.
institution, Wuhan University, which is one of the first national
universities in modern China, boasts a campus covering an area of 2.42
Entrance requirements into China’s
universities are rather straightforward. Medical courses require a
minimum of three B’s or a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0
in the STPM, A-Levels or pre-university examination.
government is keen to make the country an education centre for
international students and scholarships are given at three levels, says
At the government level, full and partial scholarships are
given to qualified international students for tertiary education as well
as those doing language training.
At the state level, local
governments of several cities are also providing scholarships of a fixed
sum that can range from RMB10,000 to RMB40,000 ((RM5,163 to RM20,652)
per year. In an attempt to attract the best international students, many
leading Chinese universities and colleges have also established their
respective scholarship schemes.
China looks set to
attract more foreign students into its lecture halls and more Malaysians
are expected to count among those who will be enrolling in Chinese
universities in the years to come.
This article was first published in the June 7, 2014 issue of The Heat.
Link - http://theantdaily.com/Main/China-the-new-education-hub-for-M-sians