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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 7:38pm
NewsChina Insider

Study: One in four Chinese students drop out of Ivy League schools

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 October, 2013, 6:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 October, 2013, 7:32pm

One in four Chinese students attending Ivy League universities in the US drop out, according to a study on recruitment of returned overseas graduates.

The students, who were all high-achievers in China, were unable to adapt to the new environment largely due to differences in the educational system and language barriers, said the 2013 Overseas-returned Graduate Recruitment Report citing statistics collected from the universities.

And of those who do graduate, an increasing number choose to look for work in China. Half of the returning graduates cited “economic conditions” as the main obstacle to staying overseas, followed by saturated overseas employment markets and poor social skills, which accounted for 38.9 per cent and 33.6 per cent respectively, the survey found.

The study, published by EIC, China’s largest overseas study service agency, was based on a survey of more than 9,000 professionals in 23 major cities across various industries, according to Southern Metropolis Daily

This latest blow to the market for overseas education comes amid the largest-ever wave of graduates returning from overseas.

According to the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG), a non-profit think tank based in Beijing, over 270,000 overseas graduates returned to China in 2012, up 47 per cent from a year earlier. It also said 70 per cent of the entire overseas graduate population chose to seek jobs in China.  

CCG also identifies unaccredited higher education institutions as a cause of many students having to return home.

Earlier this month CCG warned prospective students about unaccredited higher education institutions, also known as “diploma factories”, which offer fake degrees and diplomas. Half of these institutions, often similarly named to prestigious universities to mislead students, were based in the United States, and 95 per cent of the diplomas were given to students from China, the report said.

Wang Huiyao, director of CCG, said Chinese students left overseas schools for various reasons. “It could be due to poor language skills, cultural differences, poor social skills and even plagiarism,” he said in a telephone interview.

But Wang cast doubt on the 25-per-cent drop-out rate from Ivy League universities.

“The drop-out rate apparently is higher than usual, but it appears to be too high to be true.” he said in a telephone interview. “Students who dropped out of university did not necessarily return to China. They might just have transferred to other schools,” he added.



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I think that social skills is hitting the nail on the head, really. Because Chinese culture emphasizes differing personal attributes and typically looks down upon the kind of person who is bubbly and outgoing in preference for those who are quiet and reserved, and because the typical tiger parent upbringing leaves little room for social development, what you have are a whole slew of young adults who are socially retarded. It's not because they're incapable - it's because nobody taught them how. And who wants to hire someone for a high-ranking position if s/he doesn't know how to talk to people? That's a crucial cornerstone in the American business world, and with so few jobs to go around, they're certainly not going to hand one over to someone lacking social skills.
That's why I always advise someone who hasn't had much social development to really splurge and get professional help. Not only does it help you with the opposite sex...
... but it also helps you to learn how you can charm your employers.
your article blames the students not able to land jobs in US... but neglected to offer a balance view..
1. poor employment market in US, many american students with college degrees have no job.
2. not able to land jobs may or may not due to "poor english" or "poor social skills" but except for tech slaves (programmers), many management, finance and leadership jobs tend to be reserved for whites, ala Abercombie & Fitch. racial discrimination in hiring is illegal but employers have a way to do it and racial discrimination in the workplace is still rampant in US.
3. there is BETTER job opportunity in China. many european, americans with job skills are moving to China.
make it fair and balance....
Good programmers are one of the best paid jobs.
A HK student who holds an Australian passport and are admitted to Australian schools/ universities in the local student category will certainly be counted as Australian. Admission as an international student will mean a huge increase in fees which I am sure they will try to avoid if they can.
almost all mainland Chinese students are graduate/b-school/PhD students in the US until 2007 or so when the US relaxed undergraduate student visa application for mainland Chinese, however, post-grad students still contribute about 75% of the total.
50% of all PhD students in US dropped out, and that skews the drop-out stats.
Take Cornell for example (since almost half of Ivy League undergrads went to Cornell), overall mainland Chinese students ballooned from 397 in 2004, 512 in 2008 to 1298 in 2012, but if you only look at undergrads, it went from 40 in 2004, 93 in 2008 to 341 in 2012, whereas portion of UG rose from 10% in 2004 to 26% in 2012. Drop-out rate among UGs are merely 8%. Of course someone else can do a comprehensive stats across all Ivies, I am not going to do that since I guess the stats presented here should be similar.
Page 20 of www.isso.cornell.edu/about/stats12-13.pdf
Interestingly, number of Hong Kong ID card holders are at least 2-2.5x the listed number in Cornell int'l student report, as many HKese hold second passport and hence not count as international students (or count as Canadian or Australian, etc).


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