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Chinese Students in America: Policies, Issues, and Numbers Leo A. OrIeans for The Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988
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National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. · Washington D. C. 90418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report wan sponsored by the Committees on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China. The accuracy of the information presented and the views expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the author and not the sponsoring organization. This study was made possible by funds provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961. The Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (CSCPRC) is jointly sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy provides an administrative base for the CSCPRC. Since the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and China in 1979, the CSCPRC has developed programs with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and the State Education Commission, in addition to those with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), with whom CSCPRC began exchanges in 1972. Current activities include a program for American graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to carry out long- term study or research in affiliation with Chinese universities and research institutes; a short-term reciprocal exchange of senior-level Chinese and American scholars; a bilateral conference program; and an exchange of joint working groups in selected fields. CSCPRC programs are funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Starr Foundation, and select corporations. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Orleans, Leo A. Chinese students in America. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1.Chinese students- United States. I. Committee on Scholarly Communications with the People's Republic of China (U.S.) II. Title. LC3071.074 1988 371.8'.2 88-22492 ISBN 0-309-03886-3 Copyright g 1988 by the National Academy of Sciences No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the United States government. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, September 1988 Second Printing, January 1989
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Preface Neither the Chinese nor the Americans know precisely how many Chinese students and scholars are in the United States now or at any time since exchanges began in 1978. Yet, numerous government agencies, universities, and other institutions in the United States that interact with the Chinese through a variety of exchange agree- ments and cooperative research projects are anxious to have more information about the students and scholars in this country, their numbers, and their characteristics. This need inspired an earlier effort by the Committee on Schol- arly Communication with the People's Republic of China (CSCPRC), with the support of the U.S. Information Agency (USTA) and the Ford Foundation, to undertake a study of Chinese students and scholars in the United States, set in the context of a more gen- eral Took at the development of the extensive academic exchange programs that have evolved between the two countries. This effort produced a groundbreaking study by David M. Lampton (with Joyce A. Mandancy and Kristen M. Williams), entitled A Relationship Re- stored: Trends in U.S.-China Educational Exchanges, 1978-1984, published by the National Academy Prep in 1986. Although this current study, Chinese Students in America: Poli- cies, Issues, and Numbers, is also sponsored by the CSCPRC and supported by the USTA, it approaches educational exchanges with · ·- 111
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1V PREFA CE the People's Republic of China from a somewhat different perspec- tive. Part ~ looks at China's evolving policies with regard to sending students and scholars abroad for study and Beijing's concerns and efforts to obtain maximum return from this expensive and some- what risky enterprise. Although interspersed with commentary and opinions, Part ~ is based almost exclusively on Chinese articles, doc- uments, and pronouncements on the subject. This first part, then, differs from the Lampton study, which looked at the U.S.-China academic exchanges essentially from the U.S. perspective. Part IT of this report analyzes statistics on the flow of Chinese students and visiting scholars entering and leaving the United States since 1979, their fields of specialization, sources of funding, and a variety of personal characteristics. It updates the Lampton study, adding two to three years to the basic statistics, and ~ am entirely indebted to David Lampton and his colleagues for the procedures and methodologies they developed to handle the quantitative data on which both studies rely. The statistical analysis is based on two types of material: (1) visa data submitted to U.S. embassy and consular offices in the People's Republic of China, the input of a laborious task of manually coding the information in each visa application, and (2) USIA data tapes containing all the lAP-66 forms, which are filled out annually by U.S. institutions of higher education for students and scholars who receive J-1 visas. Some comparisons are also made between U.S. and Chinese statistics, and an effort is made to estimate the number of Chinese students and scholars in the United States and the number who had returned home. Although this study is divided into two distinct parts, there is, of course, an obvious and intimate relationship between Beijing's evolv- ing policies with regard to foreign study, the number of individuals who manage to come to the United States for study and research, and the qualifications and characteristics of the students and scholars. Every study owes "special thanks" to someone. In this instance they go to Mary B. Bullock, who saw the need for this study, obtained the necessary support, and succeeded in transferring her enthusiasm to the author. Kristen Williams provided the computer expertise in handling and analyzing the statistics, and her experience in working on the earlier study made for invaluable continuity. Joyce Madancy spent a long summer in China performing the unenviable task of translating the information from the visa applications to a machine-readable code.
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PREFA CE v This study was done in spurts and pauses over a protracted period of time, so that more than the usual number of friends and colleagues (volunteers and conscripts) have had a chance to comment on the manuscript as it went through various revisions and expan- sions. First, my sincere appreciation to George Beckmann, Andrea Gay, Ruth Hayhoe, Todd Johnson, Victor Rabinowitch, Kyna Rubin, and Mitche] Wallerstein for their useful comments and suggestions. And second, an exalted level of appreciation to Mary B. Bullock, David M. Lampton, Douglas P. Murray, Miche! C. Oksenberg, Glenn Shive, and Richard P. Suttmeier, who went beyond the call of duty to provide me with most careful and thorough readings and critiques, which would both delight and frustrate any author. While ~ am grateful to all for their time and effort, they will undoubtedly be relieved to know that all the responsibility for the contents of this book rests with me alone. Being accepted as part of the CSCPRC family was a privilege, and ~ greatly appreciate the friendship and good will of everyone on the staff (including those who have gone on to other adventures). especially want to thank Terry Price and Jennifer Hess for holding my hand as ~ advanced from kindergarten to middle school in word processing, to Kathlin Smith for feeding me some interesting tidbits ~ might have otherwise missed, and, of course, to the most able and always helpful Alice Bishop for everything. At the National Academy Press, ~ wish to express my apprecia- tion to Heather Wiley for her expert copyediting of the manuscript, to dim GorrnIey for managing the art production, and to Sally Fields, who, with gentle proficiency, managed the difficult process of pulling the various pieces together into the final publication. My good friend Chi Wang suggested the Chinese characters on the cover and kindly did the calligraphy. Together, the characters lie and sue mean, quite appropriately, "study abroad." Finally, ~ would like to take this opportunity to thank Dorothy Clark not only for her "author-friendly" editing of an early draft of this manuscript but also for her unacknowledged contributions on scores of other manuscripts. LEO A. ORLEANS June 1988
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Contents Introduction Part I CHINA'S POLICIES AND PROBLEMS 1 The Evolving Policies Background The First Three Decades, 19 Resuming the Exchanges, 22 Experience and Change, 25 Problems of Implementation, 33 2 The Brain-Drain Issue Government-Sponsored Students and Scholars, 38 Privately Sponsored Students, 39 The Students' Perspective, 42 Prospects, 49 The International Perspective, 53 Problems in Utilizing Returning Students and Scholars China's System of Job Assignments and Job Mobility, 59 The Mounting Problems, 61 The Legitimacy of the Complaints, 65 Some Proposed Solutions, 68 ·- V11 1 19 36
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· - ~ V111 CONTENTS Part II CHINESE STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN THE UNITED STATES: NUMBERS AND CHARACTERISTICS 4 Understanding the Statistics: Problems and Issues 77 Chinese Statistics on Sending Students Abroad, 77 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Data on Chinese Students, 82 Statistics from Visa Applications and USIA Data Tapes, 84 5 Statistics on Trends and Characteristics of Exchange Participants from China J-1 and F-1 Students and Scholars, 88 J-1 and F-1 Students, 94 J-1 Visiting Scholars, 106 Estunating the Number of Students and Scholars in the United States, 109 Conclusion: Chinese Students: An Emerging Issue in U.S.-China Relations? APPENDIX State Education Commission Provisions on Study Abroad Index .( 87 114 123 139