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Drop-off in students studying Chinese in colleges

April 17, 2017
   Not to cast a pall over parents with young children in immersion programs, but it’s interesting to see what’s happening ten years down the academic line.
   That said, the world our children will find themselves is likely to be very different. If you have a first grader in Mandarin immersion today, they will graduate from college in in 2033 – and everything about today’s geo-security situation and economy will be different.
   And of course as we always say, there are multiple reasons why it’s a great thing to have bilingual children, even if they don’t ever work in China. So take this with a grain of salt but also realize that things change.
   – Beth
April 15, 2017 11:00 am JST

American students lose interest in China studies

From: The Nikkei Asian Review

Concerns about pollution, work opportunities take toll on enrollment

PAUL MOONEY, Contributing writer

Some observers say that study abroad programs in China need to address student demand for internships and work opportunities, not just focus on language and culture.(Courtesy CET Academic Programs)

BERKELEY, U.S. – Early in his presidency, Barack Obama set a goal to vastly increase the number of Americans studying Chinese and taking part in academic programs in China.

Eight years later, Obama is gone and so is much of the academic momentum. Though China looms ever larger in U.S. economic and security concerns, American universities are experiencing a decline in the enrollment in Chinese language courses and study abroad programs. The growing sense that work opportunities in China are harder to come by is compounding worries about pollution and other living conditions.

Stanford University announced in January it would indefinitely suspend its undergraduate program in Beijing as of May. The school’s student newspaper reported that enrollment had fallen by around two-thirds from 2004 to just eight last year. The university had earlier merged its Chinese and Japanese language degree programs into a single East Asian studies course.

Please read more here.

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