Survey reveals UK study benefits for Chinese

Chinese students who study in Britain return to their home country more open-minded and tolerant, according to a new study.

A report, undertaken by British and Chinese academics with the aid of the British Council, surveyed the views of 652 students who had returned home from the UK.

According to Michele Schweisfurth, reader in comparative and international education at the University of Birmingham, the “vast majority” had “accepted the diversity of the world and, as a result, had become more flexible and open-minded than they were previously, with increased tolerance for different ideas and behaviour”.

Ninety-four per cent of the students were satisfied with the overall study experience in the UK, and 92 per cent were particularly positive about their intellectual development.

Despite their generally positive experiences in the UK, 83 per cent found returning to China a happy experience.

Back in China, the majority said that their UK education was an asset when looking for work.

Qing Gu, an associate professor at the University of Nottingham, said: “For more than half of those involved in our survey, career opportunities in China were a clear pull factor.

“About 72 per cent felt that their academic experience in the UK was particularly valued when they were looking for jobs and was helpful for their ongoing professional development in the longer term.”

Just over four out of five of the students said they felt more comfortable working in teams following their university education, while 93 per cent said that “international outlook and awareness” was helpful when working in China.

Almost three out of four said that study in the UK enhanced their appreciation of their own culture.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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