Almost 500,000 international students in China in 2018

Almost 500,000 international students studied in China in 2018, earlier slight increase on 2017, the Ministry of Education said Friday.

A total of 492,185 international students from 196 countries and region

s studied in China last year, up 0.62 percent on the previous year, the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea ranked first in the number of students sent to China last year, with 50,600 students, followed b

y Thailand with 28,608, Pakistan with 28,023, India with 23,198, and the United States with 20,996.

The number of students pursuing academic education increased

6.86 percent year-on-year to 258,122, accounting for 52.44 percent of the total.

Students studying for master’s and doctoral degrees increased by 12.28 percent to 85,062, the ministry said.

Most international students in China have been self-funded, accounting for 87.19 percent of the total, it said.

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