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More students choose EU over US
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The EU leads the US as a destination for Chinese students, a senior EU official said yesterday in Beijing.


Last year 120,000 Chinese students studied in EU countries, a record number; and more Chinese students study in Europe than any other destination in the world, said Jan Figel, the European Commissioner for Education, Training and Youth.


"When people speak of education, especially higher education, they often think of the US. But actually, universities in the EU are, overall, the most attractive because they have a diversity of cultures and teaching methods," Figel said.


Of the world's top 500 universities, more than half are in the 27 EU states, he said.


To attract more foreign students, the EU launched the Erasmus Mundus program in 2004, providing scholarships to foreign students. About 230 million euros (US$327 million) will be disbursed through the program by 2009.


"The EU has first-class football leagues, and I think that the EU educational system is also a first-class league," he added.


Figel is in China to sign two joint declarations.


One is a cultural communiqué that will cover the promotion of cultural diversity and cultural industries. The other is on education and will cover issues such as lifelong learning and language learning.


The declarations will lead to regular exchanges of experience and best practices, reviews of policy developments and knowledge building.


(China Daily October 24, 2007)

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