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UK universities target wealthy Chinese students

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As British students face possible cuts in university places, the UK is competing to attract wealthy students from China.

There are already around 100,000 Chinese studying in Britain, contributing an estimated £2bn a year to the UK economy.

The country recently overtook India as the biggest source of foreign students.

Recent changes to visa regulations may make it harder for international students to come to Britain for language courses.

But despite this the number of foreign undergraduates at UK universities is expected to rise dramatically in the next few years.

Some institutions believe numbers will double by 2014 – with much of that growth driven by wealthy students from China.

At the New Talent Academy – an elite, private high school in Beijing – sixth formers are taking A-levels in order to secure places at some of Britain’s top universities.

Many of them already have multiple offers from institutions including Imperial College London, University College London and London School of Economics.

As full fee paying international students they will hand over up to £27,000 a year for a British education.

Education is highly valued in Chinese culture as the only sure path to success.

“Chinese parents have been preparing for their children’s education from a very young age,” said school principal Dr Kai-on Li. “They can spend all the money they have just on education.”

British students reacted angrily after the Government announced it would allow universities to raise fees for UK and EU students up to £9,000 a year in “exceptional cases”.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband has warned the higher fees could cost the taxpayer an extra £450m in student loans, creating a funding shortfall that would force the Government to cut tens of thousands of university places for British and EU students.

However, there are no limits on places for foreign students who pay full fees.

British universities are now competing with other countries to attract them.

There are 165,000 Chinese studying in Australia and another 130,000 in America.
Source: Sky News

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