China and India Maintain Their Rivalry in American Education
Between Gaza, North Korea, the Ukraine, and Syria, you wouldn’t consider India and China to be a major flashpoint. However, they are nuclear powers and economic rivals that fought a war 50 years ago over a border that’s still disputed. And both sides are boosting their naval and missile capabilities with an eye towards the other.
And they’re competing on the educational front as well. Over the past five years, 25% of foreign students have come from China (284,173) and 15% from India (168,034). Ironically, each nation’s arrivals focus on very different studies according to a Quartz analysis of the Brookings data. Among Chinese students, undergraduate and master’s students each account for over 40% of their respective enrollments. However, nearly 80% of Indian students in the United States are part of master’s degree programs. What’s more, nearly 70% of Indian students participate in STEM-related majors in the United States (with engineering comprising 32%), compared to roughly 39% for Chinese students.
In other words, Indian students use American institutions to develop higher level quant skills. Conversely, Chinese students come to America to learn fundamentals, particularly in business (which was the major for 35% of Chinese students).
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