Destination Dynamics: Exploring the Preferences in Study Locations for Chinese International Students

Hero Image Credit: Guy Thompson.

From COVID-19 to changing economic pressures, choosing an overseas location to complete studies can be complicated. With updated survey data from New Oriental for the 2022-2023 year, we can see several important changes in the overall market for Chinese international students. The opening of borders and the normalisation of diplomatic relations between China and Australia have helped it recover ground to 14% for both graduate and undergraduate students.

For undergraduate and high schoolers, the US remains the top option with 34% interest falling from a high of 45% in 2019. The UK is close behind with 31%, and Canada is in 3rd place with 21%. Safety and security issues across the United States continue to dampen interest in North America[1].

The United Kingdom looks to retain the top spot for interest from Chinese graduate students, but policy changes at the end of 2022 have changed the perception of the UK as a less welcoming destination for less affluent students who rely more on student accommodation and unskilled work visa opportunities[2].

Image Credit:, Magic K, Busy Airport Terminal.

To find out more about the evolving landscape of international education post-COVID, Check out our new whitepaper China Report Card: International Education Update.


[1] Morning Consult Pro, August 2023

[2] Navitas Insights, August 2023