Beijing (China Daily/ANN) - China's education authority will increase scholarships for international students in the coming school year, an official said on April 25.
The Chinese Government Scholarship Program, established by the Ministry of Education, provides both full and partial scholarships to international students and scholars studying in China.
"In the school year from 2012 to 2013, the scholarship investment will at least be 1.5 billion yuan ($238 million), said Zhang Xiuqin, director of the ministry's department of international cooperation and exchange.
The average scholarship will increase to 60,000 yuan, up from 50,000 yuan.
"We also plan to expand the coverage of the scholarship to more students," Zhang said.
Every year, the department of international cooperation and exchange draws up admission plans and sends the plan to Chinese embassies and consulates overseas.
Applicants can also find information on the website of the China Scholarship Council (http://en.csc.edu.cn/), and apply for the scholarship at the Chinese embassy or consulate in their home countries.
Those with full scholarships are exempt from tuition, accommodation fees and material cost, and receive living allowances, free medical services and settlement subsidies.
According to the ministry, 25,687 international students were studying in China under the Chinese Government Scholarship Program in 2011, an increase of 14.7 percent over 2010.
Self-financed international students increased 10 percent to 266,924 in 2011.
However, this is only one step in a larger plan to promote the country's education industry internationally.
In 2010, the ministry published a 10-year plan, setting the goal of attracting more than 500,000 overseas students to China by 2020, with 150,000 receiving higher education.
"In 2010, we launched a project with the US government, which plans to sponsor 100,000 US students coming to China for either short-term study or for a master's program by 2013," Zhang said.
In 2011, there were 23,292 US students studying in China, with 2,094 receiving government subsidies.