Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
27th Feb 2019

Thai universities working to attract more Chinese students

Mark Thailand down as the latest Asian market to step up its efforts to attract greater numbers of Chinese students. And the underlying reason is a familiar one: total tertiary enrolment in Thailand has flattened and even begun to decline over the last several years. Since 2012, total higher education enrolment in the country has dropped from 2,430,000 students to just over 2,410,000 as of 2017. Thai universities are increasingly looking to China to help offset those declining domestic numbers, and the number of Chinese students in Thai higher education is on the rise as a result. Drawing on figures from the Asia Research Center for Migration at Chualongkorn University, Reuters reports that nearly 8,500 Chinese students were enrolled in Thai higher education as of 2017, roughly double the number from 2012. Many of those students are drawn from China’s southern provinces, and for them Thailand represents a chance to pursue a relatively high-quality higher education along with new career opportunities in the bustling Thai economy. The affordability of Thai universities is a key consideration for Chinese students as well. Average tuitions range around US$3,700 per academic year, but this compares to tuition rates of US$8,000 per year in a more established regional destination such as Singapore, or as much as US$60,000 in the United States. “If I work here I will have more opportunities than where I came from,” Chinese student Cherry He Ting, who first arrived Thailand as an exchange student several years ago and is now wrapping up a master’s degree in history. For their part, Thai universities are responding to Chinese demand by laying on additional programmes and services targeted to Chinese students. But some also see the influx of visiting students from China – which has been accompanied as well by growing numbers of Chinese academics taking up post in Thai higher education and even by Chinese investments in private universities in Thailand – as part of a broader effort to expand China’s influence in Southeast Asia. China’s massive “One Belt One Road” foreign investment framework is squarely aimed at building trade, diplomatic, and academic links between China and Southeast Asia (along with many other markets along the traditional Silk Road trade routes). Among many other initiatives in the region, it has provided for additional scholarship support for Chinese students in Southeast Asia. For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • The impact of immigration settings, affordability, and job opportunities on international students’ study abroad decisions Read More
  • Hong Kong needs to build more student housing Read More
  • ChatGPT for international education marketing: What is “Prompt Engineering?” Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Hong Kong needs to build more student housing In his October 2023 address, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee set out some ambitious goals for the...
Read more
Canadian immigration minister releases official cap figures and targets for 2024 In many respects, the implementation of Canada’s newly established cap on international student enrolment has been shrouded in...
Read more
Australia: Record-high foreign enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming...
Read more
Business school survey again signals declining non-EU enrolment in UK The most recent survey from the Chartered Association of Business Schools in the UK reveals that, “International student...
Read more
US study visa refusals reached record levels in 2023 More than a third of prospective international students applying to study in the US last year were turned...
Read more
Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Since the Canadian government’s announcement in January that it would be capping the number of new study permits...
Read more
Canada: Ontario’s cap implementation plan allocates nearly all study permit applications to public colleges and universities On 26 February 2024, the Government of Ontario – Canada’s most-populous province and host to just over half of...
Read more
New Zealand’s international enrolment continued to recover in 2023 New Zealand’s international education sector welcomed significantly more students in 2023 than in 2022, according to data released...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links