According to a UNESCO report, since 2000, the population of students studying abroad has grown by 75%; the number increased from 2.96 million in 2008 to 3.43 million in 2009. Chinese students studying abroad, as many as 440,000, are important players in the global higher education market. The U.S. is the destination for the largest number of students from around the world, hosting around 700,000. Their annual contribution to the U.S. economy amounts to US$20 billion. Chinese students, overtaking Indians and South Koreans, have now become the largest group of foreign students in the U.S. Meanwhile, in the coming years, China is planning to attract 500,000 foreign students to study in its country.
Source: China News Service, March 12, 2011