China has accepted the largest number of foreign students in Asia, according to the country's Ministry of Education.
In 2016 the figure stood at 440 thousand, which is an increase of 35% on 2012.
South Korea, America and Thailand topped the list of countries sending students to China, followed by Pakistan, India, Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan and Vietnam. In all, 205 countries and regions had students accepted by China.
210 thousand foreign students came for bachelor degrees, taking up 47.7% of the whole. 64 thousand students came to China for Masters and Doctoral programs in 2016.
130 thousand foreign students studied at kindergartens, primary and middle schools.
The number of students from countries involved in the China inspired Belt and Road initiative, also known as The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, has significantly increased. In 2016, students from the 64 countries in the initiative saw 200 thousand students coming to China to study, representing an increase of 13.6% compared with one year before.
In a change from earlier years, the number of students studying Chinese language accounted for about 40% in 2016, a drop of about 15% compared with 2012.
The number of foreign students majoring in education, science, engineering and agriculture all doubled.
The top five majors were western medicine, engineering, economy, management and Chinese language, and saw more than double the percentage of students.
China has put more money in scholarships to attract foreign students, and students from over 183 countries were awarded in 2016, 70% higher than 2012.
Students from The Belt and Road countries took 61% of the scholarships in 2016, an increase of 8.4% compared with 2012.