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September 6, 2011

Top 10 countries for foreign students in U.S. colleges and universities

• China, 127,628 (18 percent)

• India, 104,897 (15 percent)

• South Korea, 72,153 (10 percent)

• Canada, 28,145 (4 percent)

• Taiwan, 26,685 (4 percent)

• Japan, 24,842 (4 percent)

• Saudi Arabia, 15,810 (2 percent)

• Mexico, 13,450 (2 percent)

• Vietnam, 13,112 (2 percent)

• Turkey, 12,397 (2 percent)


The list above appeared along with Jenna Johnson's story in yesterday's Washington Post.

The data are from the 2009-10 school year and were generated by the Institute of International Education.

In parentheses are the percentage shares of the nationwide total of 690,923.

It seems to me that if we keep sending back to China some 30,000 graduates every year, the overwhelming majority of whom come from the Chinese version of the nomenklatura, there can't help but be movement over time toward a more open society.


September 6, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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I think the most insidious part of the Chinese government's widespread campaign of censorship, monitoring, and misinformation is that most Chinese citizens are completely unaware that it even exists. I talked to some very intelligent Chinese grad students who simply did not believe that the Chinese government did anything more than a token level of censorship and monitoring. It was sort of a joke to them, like how we might say about an email "It's OK, the NSA read it anyway". The idea that political dissidents might disappear as the result of a careless email or the thought that their web searches were being censored was like an urban legend or a conspiracy theory.

Thus, the biggest impediment to Chinese students in America bringing back an open society is that they believe they already live in one.

(That said, I've never been to China and by all accounts Chinese society is in fact becoming much more open. I sincerely hope China finds its own way to openness rather than just mimicking Western culture.)

Posted by: Nathan | Sep 6, 2011 10:50:19 AM

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