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City hoping for a rise in foreign students

AUTHORITIES hope the proportion of overseas students at Shanghai's universities and colleges will increase to 8 percent next year from 5.9 percent in 2007, according to a report on the modernization of the city's education services.

The report, entitled Education Modernization Index, was released yesterday to promote modernization, help local districts with the process and how to evaluate it. The guide may become the supervision standard in the future.

The report includes 28 index items to help gauge the degree of modernization.

They include the standard of education, the percentage of overseas students and the enrollment rate.

However, increasing the proportion of overseas students - a major gauge of internationalization - may be difficult because of the economic crisis and the conservative education system.

A total of 26,200 overseas students were accepted into 24 local colleges and universities in 2005, accounting for 5.45 percent of Shanghai's tertiary students.

The education authority is hoping 8 percent of the student population will come from overseas to attend more than 30 local universities and colleges next year. "It's important for local universities to develop courses with credit points acknowledged by international schools," said Ding Gang, dean of the education science department at East China Normal University.

Many Korean students also left the city without finishing their studies as their costs had increased greatly because of the depreciation of the Korean currency, the won.


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