In this week’s PIE Chat, Wang Wei, chairman of East & West International Education talked about the negative relations that have been ongoing between the two countries.

“Ever since Trump, and now the Biden administration, the anti-China attitude which is hindering the US has also created some hurdles for students to believe that the US is a very friendly destination, even though it is still one of the top destinations for many, many Chinese students and parents,” Wei said.

Wei pointed out incidents across the US shocked many and may have directly impacted interested students.

“I would add that the recent cases of Chinese students being shot or murdered in the US has a pretty negative image on US education – especially recently, as there was the case of a masters student being shot and killed in Chicago near the university,” he said.

Dennis Zheng Shaoxiong, 24, was shot and killed while being robbed near the University of Chicago, from where he had recently graduated.

The November incident was the second time in 2021 that a Chinese international student had been killed in the US.

“The UK benefitted due to the issues around difficult relations with the US”

The shooting has reportedly become a “catalyst” for students from China who are beginning to fear the US city’s “growing reputation for gun violence”.

Wei mentioned that the UK’s rise in popularity as a destination among students was, while partly due to its own assets, also due to the US’ faults.

“The UK benefitted due to the issues around difficult relations with the US – it is still one of the top destinations, because it is very strong for university education, both in terms of the number of institutions and the quality and fame of them, which is very important in attracting top students,” Wang explained.

“British universities also have a lot of joint programs in China in terms of two plus to or three plus one programs – because of that, a lot of students will end up studying a masters or even a PhD in the UK, contributing its popularity in China,” he suggested.

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