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Chinese students in Minnesota: more coming; how many will stay?

October 18, 2013 – David Hahn

Chinese Students in Minnesota: More Coming, How Many Will Stay?

China is the world’s most populous country, with a population of 1.35 billion people. In recent years, it has of course become an economic powerhouse.

These are two of the reasons why there are more Chinese students interested in coming to American colleges and universities than ever before. Many Chinese families are prepared to help the students with funding. And the American schools, sensing paying customers, have been stepping up their recruiting activities.

In this post, let’s look at the recent upswing in enrollment of Chinese students at the University of Minnesota and how that relates to U.S. immigration law.

At the University of Minnesota, international students have become a significant source of revenue from tuition and fees. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the U of M received more than $110 million from those students.

Chinese students make up the largest portion of international students at the University of Minnesota. This year, the share of international students from China is more than 40 percent.

The revenue from these students comes at a welcome time for the University of Minnesota, where state funding as slipped in recent years. But the university has also been proactive in seeking them out. The university’s efforts have included setting up an office in Beijing to recruit Chinese students.

One problem, however, is that it can be challenging for international students who want to stay in the U.S. after completing their studies to obtain work authorization. Trying to make an adjustment of status from a student visa to a work visa may be difficult. As we discussed in our September 27 post, strict limits on the numbers of work visas available affect many would-be immigrants.

That is one of the big reasons why federal immigration reform is so badly needed.

Source: Minnesota Daily, “University courts Chinese students, reaps benefits,” Kia Harhan and Roy Aker, Oct. 16, 2013

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