POST TIME: 16 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
S and SE Asian students enjoy more choices in Yunnan
From Chinese language to specialty courses
The M e k o n g Magazine

S and SE Asian students enjoy
more choices in Yunnan

To s t u d y i n C h i n a , international students need to pass the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). The HSK includes writing, reading and listening
sections. It comes in six difficulty levels: Level 1 through Level 6. In 2019, 48 colleges and universities in Yunnan qualified to recruit international students, and the provincial government offers 1,000 scholarships for international students to seek further educational opportunities in the province.
I n r e c e n t y e a r s , b y strengthening social, cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation with countries in South and Southeast Asia, Yunnan has developed a new pattern of open education featuring regional characteristics. Now more and more students from South and Southeast Asia are studying in Yunnan. In 2018,according to the Yunnan Provincial Department of Education, there are 19,311 foreign students studying in the province, with 85 percent of them from South and Southeast Asia.

"I love Chinese culture and language. Based on the Chinese language proficiency of international students, teachers first teach in English before shifting to Chinese. The transitional period enabled me to adapt to my studies here," said Shanshan, a Lao student in her third year at Yunnan University. "More importantly, I have made many friends from other countries. Communicating with them has broadened my horizons." 

"Yunnan is close to South and Southeast Asia. The mild weather makes it easy for international students here to adapt," said Bai Jing, director of the Admissions Office of the Chinese Language and Culture College(CLCC) of Yunnan Normal University. Having recruited Southeast Asian students for many years, the CLCC now has its own teaching and training system.

International students in Yunnan can not only apply for Chinese government-sponsored scholarships, as well as those from the Confucius Institute, but they also have access to scholarships at the provincial and university levels. In 2019, the provincial government is offering 1,000 scholarships for international students to further their education in the province.

"Scholarships at the national and provincial levels are mainly intended for master's degree candidates and doctoral students. As for undergraduate university scholarships, they place greater emphasis on the Chinese language proficiency of international students, especially freshmen," said Wu Jun, an admission officer at the International Institute of Kunming University of Science and Technology. Scholarships are granted mainly according to students’ scores on the Chinese Proficiency Test(HSK). Master's degree candidates and doctoral students also need to submit referrals from their tutors and deans and a well-written study plan.

Today, South and Southeast Asian students in Yunnan enjoy a more diverse choice of specialty courses. In the past, they mainly opted for language-based majors, but now they can study trade, finance, medicine, tourism management, media, journalism and so on. "International students can learn Chinese through many channels, so an increasing number of them are turning towards professional knowledge," said Bai Jing. In recent years, the number of academic students is on the rise, while that of nonacademic students who come just to study Chinese language is decreasing.

"We offer five programmes to international students, namely international Chinese language education, Chinese language education, international economics and trade, finance, and tourism m a n a g e m e n t , " said Duan Jieyun, d e p u t y d e a n o f C L C C . " M o r e than 60 percent of international students choose to major in finance and international trade."