Shanghai saw a big increase of foreign university students, who came mainly to study Chinese, in the first three quarters of this year, the Shanghai Education Commission revealed Friday.
The number of foreign students studying in local universities reached 19,000 by the end of September, a 39 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
Most foreigners came from neighboring Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea for Chinese language, literature, traditional Chinese medicine and art.
"This surge should mainly be attributed to the attractiveness of individual universities to foreign students," said Fu Weizhong, vice director at the commission's international exchange department.
An increasing number of local universities have begun tailoring courses to overseas students by giving lectures in foreign languages. For example, the Shanghai Second Medical University offers its courses in Japanese.
English lectures are available at most local universities.
A number of local universities have also launched scholarships and exchange programs with foreign counterparts in an effort to attract more overseas students, Fu said.
Shanghai international Studies University has signed a cooperation pact with Kansai Gaidai University in Japan to allow students to finish their last two years' study in SISU.
Xu baomei, dean at SISU's international exchange college, said the number of foreign students registered at the university has jumped by 40 percent to 1,300 this semester.
(Shanghai Daily October 2, 2004)