The number of overseas students in China increased significantly, and the education level of overseas students also improved further. In 2008, among all overseas students in China, there were 80, 005 degree students which accounted for 35.8% of the total, representing an increase of 17.29% year-on-year. This is higher than the increase of the total number of overseas students coming to study in China.
Generally speaking, at the beginning, most of the international students will choose the short-term classes or long-term classes to study Chinese, and others will choose to study business Chinese or Chinese cultural courses, such as Traditional Chinese Medical Science, Medical Massage, Acupuncture, Peking Opera, Taijiquan and so on. After that, for those students who are willing to enter Chinese universities to continue their study, they can take the Chinese Proficiency Test. Qualified overseas students will accomplish specialties with Chinese students together, in the light of the requirements of the universities, for those international students who have passed corresponding specialty courses, they can get their bachelor, master and doctor degrees.
Nowadays, the fields of study of international students cover 11 discipline categories, namely Literature, Medicine, Economics, Management, Engineering, Law, Education, Natural Science, History, Agriculture and Philosophy. The students who choose to study Literature discipline occupied the first place, according to the statistics of 2007, this number amounted to 135, 600 accounting for 69.30% of the total international students of that year, among which, there were 119, 100 students who studied Chinese and 2, 500 students who studied Art. The students who choose to study Medicine occupied the second place, and the total number already came to 25, 600, among which 16, 900 students studied Western Medicine and 8, 700 students studied Traditional Chinese Medicine. For recent years, more and more international students began to choose Economics, Management, Engineering and Law.