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Characteristics of Exchange Participants There were SO Chinese students and scholars in the first group to come to the United States after Sino-American educational exchanges resumed. They arrived in Washington, D.C., in late 1978, with only the slightest preparation for their experience in America. They had a diffi- cult time. By the 1984-1985 academic year, the number of Chinese students and scholars in the United States had grown to about 14,000,~ and, for the most part, they were doing very well. This rapid growth in the number of Chinese students and scholars in the United States is likely to continue in the immediate future; if it does, China may have more students and scholars in America by the early 1990s than any other country has. An analysis of the personal profiles and academic characteristics of the PRC Chinese exchange participants reveals patterns with signifi- cance which transcends academic exchange. One of the major themes of this chapter—and indeed of the entire study is that the character of the Sino-American academic relationship from 1979 through 1984 has been shaped very considerably by China's status as a developing country with academic ties to an economically and technologically advanced nation. The scientific and technological emphasis of the fields of study of the PRC Chinese in America, the unbalanced flow of students and scholars between China and the United States, the low priority accorded the study of agriculture by the Chinese, and American interest in pursuing work in the humanities and social sciences in the PRC all are characteristic of the academic relations between Third World coun- 30
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 31 tries and the United States. Although the Sino-American academic rela- tionship has its own distinctive character, the broader similarities should not be overlooked or incorrectly ascribed to the PRC's political and social system. The following analysis also reveals a number of exceedingly impor- tant attributes of the PRC Chinese students and scholars in America. First, Chinese students and scholars in America have adapted with remarkable speed to the competitive funding system in the United States. American universities (drawing funds from many sources) have become the largest single source of financial support for PRC students and scholars in the United States, with expenditures exceeding those made by the Chinese government itself. This development reflects fund- ing patterns in American schools and the generally high quality of aca- demic performance of PRC students and scholars on American campuses. Second, of the PRC students and scholars who came to the United States during the 1979-1984 period, about two-thirds were in the physi- cal and life sciences, engineering, and health sciences. This percentage is very high compared to other developing countries; it reflects China's concentration on science and technology as keys to modernization. Third, although PRC students and scholars are scattered widely throughout the United States and attend institutions of higher educa- tion of every description, more than half come from three urban coastal areas in China (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong Province3. Finally, the PRC students and scholars who are coming to the United States are younger and younger. With long careers ahead of them, the impacts of their experiences in America, whatever they may be, will endure. In contrast to the detailed information available on PRC students and scholars in the United States, comparatively little is available on Ameri- can students and scholars in China. Nonetheless, even this limited infor- mation underscores the different purposes that the exchanges serve for the two nations. Of the American students and scholars who have gone to China for research and study, about two-thirds have been in the social sciences and humanities, their principal interest has been in Chi- nese culture, history, and society. PRC STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN AME:1UCA Numbers of PRC Students and Visiting Scholars, 1979-1984 Both American and Chinese records show that the number of Chinese exchange visitors coming to the United States grew dramatically
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32 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED TABLE 3-1 ]-1 and F-1 Visas Issued in the PRC, 1979 Through 1983 Year ]-1 Visas F-1 Visas Total 1979 807 523 1,330 1980 1,986 2,338 4,324 1981 3,066 2,341 5,407 1982 3,327 1,153 4,480 1983 3,328 1,003 4,331 Total 12,514 7,358 19,872 SOURCE: Consular reports, U.S. Department of State. between 1979 and 1984. From 1979 through 1983, 19,872 scholarly exchange visas were issued to PRC Chinese. Of these, 63 percent were ]-1 visas and 37 percent were F-1 visas. (See Tables 3-1 and 3-2 and visa definitions in the Glossary.) Actually, the number of Chinese who have come to the United States is smaller, since some scholars return to China during their course of study, are issued new visas before returning, and therefore are counted twice. Also, presumably, a few of these persons issued visas do not, in fact, come to the United States. It can be stated with certainty, then, that no more than 19,872 PRC students and scholars came to the United States during this period. One can safely infer that the number of such persons who have come to the United States during the 1979-1983 period is close to the 19,000 mark.2 In April 1984 the Chinese released fragmentary and imprecise data that set a lower figure for the total number of PRC exchange visitors who came to the United States from 1979 through 1983 (see note 2 in this chapter).3 Slight double-counting in compiling statistics for this report may account for some of the discrepancy, but the main reason is thought to lie with the Chinese systems for collecting data and issuing exit permits. In May 1984, CSCPRC staff interviewed officials of the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), who spoke candidly of two problems. First, their information system is not automated; their statis- TABLE 3-2 New and Continuing PRC Students and Scholars with ]-1 Visas, 1979 Through 1983 Year New Continuing Total 1979 891 134 1,025 1980 1,854 866 2,720 1981 3,210 2,358 5,568 1982 3,077 3,894 6,971 1983 3,190 4,550 7,740 Total 12,222 SOURCE: USIA data tape.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 33 tics are "not good." Second, the MOE is not in full control of the process by which exit permits are issued, since other ministries can also issue them namely, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Public Security Bureau, and the provincial and municipal bureaus of foreign affairs.4 China's leaders clearly knew of the coordination problem, and in mid- 1985 they took one step to ease it when a State Education Commission was established and the Ministry of Education abolished. This move obviously was directed at other problems as well, not merely at sending students abroad. The annual total of scholarly exchange visas (both J-1 and F-1) issued from 1979 to 1983 peaked at 5,407 in 1981. This overall pattern, how- ever, obscures differences between the two visa types. The number of ]-1 visas increased rapidly through 1982 and then leveled off in 1983, presumably reflecting the start-up time needed to select and prepare students and scholars to go abroad under PRC government auspices. For students with F-1 visas, an immediate postnormalization surge was followed by a decline in 1982 and 1983. While a number of reasons may explain the drop, two factors appear to have been official Chinese gov- ernment discouragement of privately sponsored arrangements at that time and tighter U.S. immigration restrictions. Academic enrollments of Chinese students show the same kind of growth as visa statistics. According to estimates by the Institute of Inter- national Education (IIE) in its annual census of foreign students in America, 1,000 Chinese students were enrolled at American institutions of higher education in academic year 1979-1980. By academic year 1983-1984, this number had risen to 8,140.5 These numbers include both J-1 and F-1 students; they do not include nonmatriculated "visiting scholars" who are not degree candidates. The latter group comprises a significant percentage of the PRC students and scholars coming to the United States on ]-1 visas (Table 3-3~. More information is available on the ]-1 visa holders than on F-1 visa holders. Most of it is drawn from the IAP-66 form required for all ]-ls, which authorizes the student or scholar to enter a program for one year; the form is reissued annually, although it is unnecessary to obtain a new visa each year. With data collected from this form, it is possible to distinguish among students entering a U.S. program for the first time, continuing in the same program, and transferring to a different pro- gram. By 1983 the number of J-ls in the United States had reached 7,740 (Table 3-2~. Each year the number of continuing J-1 students and scholars increased as more and more stayed to continue their studies. By 1982, continuing ]-ls outnumbered the new ones. From 1979 through 1983, the percentage of students among ]-ls
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34 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED TABLE 3-3 Percentage Distribution of PRC J-1 Students and Scholars by Category, 1979 Through 1983 Occupation 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 Student 18 18 21 29 41 Trainee 2 4 3 2 2 Teacher 0 1 1 1 1 Professor 3 5 5 4 3 Research scholar 69 68 67 61 52 International visitor 3 3 2 3 2 Professional trainee 5 2 1 1 1 Total 100 100 100 100 100 N= (1,025) (2,720) (5,568) (6,971) (7,740) _ SOURCE: USIA data tape. increased while the percentage of "research scholars" declined.6 The increase occurred because many students remain for several years to complete their degrees ant] because the percentage of students among new visa holders has been growing since 1979 (see Table 3-4~. Percent- ages in other categories ("trainees," generally sponsored by an American business or foundation; "teachers," who teach at levels other than col- lege; "professors"; "international visitors," who usually are sponsored by an agency of the United Nations; and "professional trainees," gener- ally in the health sciences) have remained approximately the same. At present, there is no way to determine precisely and directly the number of PRC F-1 students in the United States each year. However, using the average length-of-stay information for F-ls (Table 3-5) and the TABLE 3-4 Percentage Distribution of PRC ]-1 Students and Scholars Entering New Programs, by Category, 1979 Through 1983 Occupation 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 Student 16 20 21 31 43 Trainee 2 2 4 3 3 Teacher 0 1 2 1 1 Professor 3 5 5 5 4 Research scholar 71 66 63 55 45 International visitor 3 4 3 4 3 Professional trainee 4 1 1 1 1 Total 100 100 100 100 100 N = (890) (1,854) (3,210) (3,077) (3,190) NOTE: "Entering new programs" is a USIA appellation, which indicates persons who are entering the United States. If J-1 visa holders switch fields of study once they are already in the United States, they are not counted as entering new programs. SOURCE: USIA data tape.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS TABLE 3-5 Planned Length of Stay in United States of PRC F-1 and ]-1 Visa Holders Planned Length of Stay in United States (months) - Visa Type (percent) J-1 F-1 3Orless 4 0 4-6 5 1 7-12 30 3 13-24 36 22 25-36 6 21 37-48 12 32 49-60 6 20 More than 60 1 1 Total 100 100 N = (3,141)a (927)b aPercentage of missing data excluded from total is 2 percent. bPercentage of missing data excluded from total is 3 percent. SOURCE: Records of visas issued in 1983. 35 number of F-1 visas issued (Table 3-1), it is estimated that slightly more than 5,000 F-1 students from the PRC were in the United States at the end of 1983. Unfortunately, the relevant immigration document, the "I- 20" (see Glossary), was not available for this study. It would be helpful to policymakers and analysts if the U.S. Immigration and Naturaliza- tion Service (INS) would computerize these data (as is understood to be the intention of the INS). It is too early to know what percentage of PRC F-1 students will return home, but it is known that a substantial number of all foreign students on F-1 visas either remain in the United States after obtaining their degrees or stay on in America without finish- ing their studies. Projections of future trends in Sino-American exchange must be based on assumptions about the number of individuals the Chinese will send, the number the United States will admit, and the average period that different categories of PRC students and scholars will stay. Using the information on the intended lengths of stay for both visa categories (Table 3-5), the number of "new" and "continuing" students and scholars from 1984 through 1990 can be estimated. One probable scenario assumes that the number of ]-1 visas issued annually reaches 5,000 by 1986 and that the number of F-ls increases by 500 each year from 1984 to 1987. Under these circumstances (Table 3-6), slightly more than 19,000 PRC students and scholars would be in the United States at any one time by 1990, still fewer than the 21,960
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36 so C) I_ - . ~ ._ U' U' o o so C) ._ o U' Cal Can ._ C. - ~o C~ C. U' cn c~ 1 — 1 ,= 1 ~ 1 Cc ~s 1 . o c~ s~ 1 1 ,~ - 1 ~ 1 _ ~— 1 _1 1 Ct Ct 4 - E-°. .~ ._ o _ 3 ~ Z ~s .= _ 3 _ Z ~ C~ tS tS ~ ~ G tS ~ ~ t:S 00 0 0 00 _ C~ 00 ~ O O U~ ~ CO ~ ~— C~ 0 _ CO O O =\ ~ ~ ~— )o ],~ \c CV~ ~ ~ ~ _ C~ ~ CC) _ C~ C~ _ ~ 0 c~ c~ 0 _ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ cr: ____________ ~ ~ ~ C, ~ ~ C ~ ~ ~ ~ C, e~ O C~ ~ — C~ 00 ~ C~ ~ ~ O O C~ d4 ~ O ~ ~ C~1 ~ 00 ~ C~ _ C~ C~ ~n oo ~ ~4 _ ~ c~ ~ c~ c~ _ ~ co co c~ ~ ~ ~ ~r ~r ~ CD ~ 00 00 00 00 ~ C~ ~ CS ~ G 4:S ~ ~ t3 C~ t:3 t5 O C~ _ ~ 00 CO 00 ~ C~ ~ ~ O O U, O C~ U) 00 ~ C~ t— 00 ~ C~ _ C~ C~ ~ ~ 00 CO O — — c~ ~ ~ c~ r ~ co co co ~ ~ ~ G ;5 t:S C5 t:3 CS C~ 00 _ C~ C~ O O O O O O O O O C~ C~ ~ U) O O O O O O O O O O )t~) C~ C~ _ O O U) O )~ ~ )= _ _ _ _ C] C~ t5 ~ oo ~ O c~ O ~n ~ c~ c~ 0 0 0 ~ co ~ =4 ~4 ~ ~ _ _ co ~ u: ~n O ~ ~ ~ ~ C~ ~ _ 0 C~ ~ C~ CD CO _ C~ ~ C~ ~ C~ ~ ~ ~ O O O O O _ _ _ _ _ C, ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ C~ 00 ~ O ~ O ~ ~ CO C~ O O O C~) ~ ~ a) m\ 00 o) U) _ _ CC =4 ~ U) _ 00 C~ 00 ~ O ~ _ 0 C~ ~ CO C~ C~ C] C~ ~ C~ C~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ _ d. O ~ O a, 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ~ U) _ ~ ~ ~ O O O O O O O O 00 00 C~ O _ _ O O O O O O O O _ C~ CO ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ U) ~ O _ C~ C~ d4 IO C~ ~ 00 ~ O _ C~ et ~ oO oO oO 00 ~ oO 00 00 oO 00 a) CS) cs, a, ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ a: ______________ o .m .5 C~ Ct C~ - e~ E~ ~ .. Ct C~2 ~ o ~ C~
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CHaRACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS ~ . ~ ~ . 37 students from laiwan who were in the United States during academic year 1983-1984.7 From the vantage point of mid-1985, however, this scenario appears conservative. During the first eight months of 1985, in Beijing alone ]-1 and F-1 visas issued to PRC Chinese by the American Embassy doubled as compared with those issued during the same months in 1984. Whether these projections prove accurate depends to a large extent on the policy decisions made by both the Chinese and American govern- ments and on how they are implemented. In late 1984 and early 1985, the PRC government made two changes that should result in an increase in the number of PRC students and scholars coming to the United States: (1) In late 1984 China's State Council announced its intention to send one-third more "people abroad to study at State expense."8 (2) In January 1985 the State Council issued "Draft Regula- tions on Self-Supported Study Abroad." These latter regulations signal Beijing's encouragement to Chinese students and scholars to make pri- vately sponsored arrangements to study abroad.9 The crucial questions in terms of the effect on the number of PRC students and scholars in the United States are how liberally these regulations will be implemented by Chinese officials at various levels and how American immigration authorities will respond. Fields of Study In general, PRC students and scholars come to the United States seeking training in scientific and technical fields. Over two-thirds of them have been in such fields as computer science, engineering, health sciences, life sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences (Tables 3-7 and 3-8~. This pattern represents a continuation of the pre-1950 era in some ways and a departure in others (see Table A-2. Then, as now, few Chinese studied agriculture and many studied engineering. In other areas the pattern was not repeated. Before 1950 a greater percentage of students and scholars came to America to study the humanities, social sciences, and business than was the case between 1979 and 1984. Dur- ing the latter period, the percentage of students and scholars in the physical and life sciences became much greater than before l9S0. Parenthetically, many other countries also give limited attention to agriculture in programs that send students to America. As Sirowy and Inkeles document, agriculture consistently has been a low-priority field of study among all foreign students in the United States.~° This pattern presumably reflects the usual bureaucratic weakness of agricultural
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38 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED TABLE 3-7 Percentage Distribution of PRC F-1 Visa Holders by Intended Field of Study in United States, 1983 Intended Field of Study in U.S. Agriculture American studies Architecture Business management Computer science Education Engineering English as a second language (ESL) Health sciences Humanities Law Library and archival science Life sciences Mathematics Physical sciences Social sciences Other Total N= F-1 Visa Holders 1 9 13 3 23 1 4 IS s s 14 4 2 100 (91 l)a NOTE: The symbol `'—" indicates a value less than 0.5 percent. aPercentage of missing data excluded from total is 4 percent. SOURCE: Records of visas issued in 1983. ministries in the Third World, the low status of agriculture among urban intellectuals, and the fact that foreigners generally come to the United States looking for advanced knowledge not normally associated with agriculture. The seemingly lower priority for agriculture may also reflect the fact that American agriculture is energy- and capital- intensive and that much American agricultural training goes on in the Third World itself. Considerable overlap exists in the fields studied by F-1 and ]-1 visa holders, but there are important differences as well (Tables 3-7 and 3- 8~. The holders of F-1 visas (generally privately sponsored students) were more likely to study business management, computer science, and the humanities than were ]-1 visa holders. ]-ls, in contrast, have more often studied the physical and health sciences. These patterns remained constant for ]-ls from 1979 through 1984 (Table 3-8~. Despite shifts in Chinese policy pronouncements promoting the importance of applied science, agriculture, management, and law, there was only a slight
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 39 TABLE 3-8 Percentage Distribution of PRC ]-1 Students and Scholars by Field of Study, 1979 Through 1984 Field of Study Agriculture American studies Architecture Business management Computer science Education Engineering English as a second language (ESL) Health sciences Humanities Law Library and archival science Life sciences Mathematics Physical sciences Social sciences Other Total N= 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 3 4 2 3 4 5 1 1 1 5 4 4 30 l 2 2 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 31 31 29 27 29 1 10 11 11 10 11 2 2 3 3 3 1 1 9 6 8 s 29 25 4 3 2 3 3 2 2 100 100 100 100 100 100 (1,000) (2,714) (5,565) (6,971) (7,740) (2,277) NOTES: The symbol "—" indicates a value less than 0.5 percent. Percentage of missing data is less than 1 percent for all years. SOURCE: USIA data tape. 5 24 24 25 9 10 4 4 1 9 4 22 4 4 6 increase in the number of students and scholars in those fields who came to the United States from 1979 to 1984. This stability may signal, in part, the difficulty of implementing personnel policies that shift priori- ties. Different categories of ]-1 visa holders (e.g., student, trainee, teacher, research scholar) tended to be concentrated in particular fields and programs (see Table A-61. Although the two largest categories ~ o O students and research scholars had similar distributions, more research scholars than students studied engineering and health sciences, while the opposite was true in the physical sciences. Each of the other categories of J-ls had a distinctive profile. Trainees tended to be spon- sored by an American business or foundation for a specific training program, most commonly in agriculture and engineering. Teachers taught at a level other than college; many studied education and the humanities (including English), as well as engineering. Professors were concentrated in engineering, health sciences, and physical sciences. International visitors usually were sponsored by an agency of the United
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40 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED Nations. The largest percentage of international visitors were in health sciences, as were professional trainees. In recent years, Chinese women from the PRC who have come to the United States have been concentrated in American studies, library and archival science, health sciences, education, English as a second lan- guage (ESL), and the humanities (see Table Add. Conversely, relatively few female PRC students and scholars were studying engineering, mathematics, and computer and information science. Virtually the same pattern of field distribution was evident among all women receiv- ing graduate degrees in the United States during academic year 1981- 1982. 12 P e r s o n a l A t t r i B u t e s : G e o g r a p h i c V a r i a t i o n The majority of the PRC students and scholars who have come to the United States since 1978 are from a few areas of China, principally the cosmopolitan areas along the coast (Table 3-9~. This pattern of concen- tration is similar to that of the pre-1950 era (see Table A-1. Of those who applied for F-1 visas in 1983, 75 percent listed Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong Province as their current address. Seventy-one percent of these students were born in those three localities. This concentration may reflect several factors. Each of these places is the site of centrally run "key" educational institutions and government bureaucracies, and the populations tend to have higher incomes, higher average education levels, and longer histories of interaction with the West. In 1983, Beijing, Guangdong (in which the city of Guangzhou is located), and Shanghai were the only places in China with American consular officials in residence. Proximity to the embassy or consulates may also have been a factor: persons making private arrangements would be more likely to be able to file a visa application the closer their residence was to the American Embassy or consulate. The geographic concentration of ]-ls is only slightly less pronounced. Fifty-one percent listed Shanghai or Beijing as their current address in 1983. Trailing far behind in percentages of ]-ls were provinces with cities (shown in parentheses) that traditionally have been very impor- tant economic and administrative centers: Guangdong (Guangzhou), Hubei (Wuhan), Jiangsu (Nanjing), and Sichuan (Chongqing and Chengdu). Each of these provinces contributed 5 percent of the ]-ls in 1983. This pattern reflects the concentration of state educational, scien- tific, bureaucratic, and economic entities in these localities and the Officially sponsored character of most ]-ls.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS TABLE 3-19 Percentage Distribution of Funds Spent on PRC ]-1 Students, by Source of Funds, 1979 Through 1983 51 Source of Funds Chinese government Personal funds U.S. government U.S. university U.S. foundation U.S. corporation International organization 0 Other 14 10 6 Total 100 100 100 NOTE: The symbol "—" indicates a value less than 0.5 percent. Figures have been rounded to the nearest percent. SOURCE: USIA data tape. would affect the totals contributed by the eight financial sources listed in Table 3-15. But it can be said that including such outlays would not materially increase the figures for the Chinese government's expendi- tures; the personal funds category would jump dramatically; and the U.S. university total would rise moclerately. The Chinese government has provided no official estimates of how much it believes it has spent to support officially sponsored students and scholars in the United States. Chinese estimates do exist for the cost of foreign study in general, although they are not detailed enough to per- 1979 1980 1981 - 57 30 20 5 2 5 21 48 1982 1983 20 30 6 3 2 62 53 6 s 62 1 7 100 100 TABLE 3-20 Percentage Distribution of Funds Spent on PRC J-1 Research Scholars, by Source of Funds, 1979 Through 1983 Source of Funds Chinese government Personal funds U.S. government U.S. university U.S. foundation U.S. corporation International organization 2 Other Total NOTE: The symbol "—" indicates a value less than 0.5 percent. Figures have been rounded to the nearest percent. SOURCE: USIA data tape. 1979 64 2 1 19 3 o 1980 1981 1982 1983 38 5 6 38 51 44 41 4 4 6 5 30 36 3 4 7 37 2 o 2 8 100 100 100 1 1 1 9 6 7 8 100 100
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52 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED mit in-depth analysis. In November 1984 Beijing announced that, "in the past six years, China has spent 290 million ynan ($116 million) to send 26,000 students to study in more than 60 countries. In addition, 7,000 have gone abroad at their own expense."20 Multivariate analysis (see Appendix E) can be used to determine the characteristics of J-1 visa holders who receive more or less money from the Chinese government and American universities.2i The dependent variable is the amount of money received, and the independent vari- ables are the characteristics of the ]-1 visa holder. This analysis shows that, all other factors being equal, American universities have preferred to fund continuing students or scholars from China (Appendix E, Table E-1), and had an apparent preference for funding females. ]-1 trainees and international visitors are least likely to receive funding at American universities, and ]-1 students are the most likely. Field of study also influenced funding. Students and scholars in the life and physical sciences tended to receive more money from American universities; lesser amounts, in descending order, went to health sci- ences, mathematics, law, and social sciences. Fields that appear to have had a negative impact on the amount received from American universi- ties were architecture, agriculture, computer science, and engineering. In contrast, the Chinese government basically supports those persons not as likely to be supported by American universities—more teachers and research scholars (Appendix E, Table Ebb. Finally, the Chinese government funded more students and scholars in engineering, archi- tecture, computer science, agriculture, library science, and humanities, in descending order, and was less likely to fund those in law and Ameri- can studies. In what context should American support for PRC Chinese students and scholars be viewed? First, U.S. universities generally pick up about half of the total cost of foreign ]-1 visa holders, whereas foreign govern- ments usually pay less than 15 percent of these costs. As shown in Tables 3-19 and 3-20, the Chinese government pays more than 15 percent for their J-1 visa holders. Second, the academic performance of Chinese students and scholars compares favorably to both foreign and domestic students (see Chapter 5~. Their ability to compete successfully for finan- cial assistance not only speaks well for them, but their efforts also enrich the intellectual climate in American academe. Third, many of the prob- lems under investigation by students and scholars from China are important to American research objectives. In one sense, Chinese sup- port for their students and scholars are subsidies to U.S. programs. Finally, the U.S. government has defined it to be in the national interest that China's modernization effort succeed. Since direct federal develop-
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS S3 ment assistance to China is not yet available, this educational relation- ship is the most direct contribution, aside from commercial transac- tions, that the United States can make to China's modernization. The American educational community has been particularly con- cerned about four financial issues: (1) the adequacy of stipends pro- vided by the Chinese government to its officially sponsored students and scholars; (2) the fact that many PRC officially sponsored students and scholars have had to remit a portion of their U.S. stipends and/or pay back their salary and travel advances to their home "unit" (the kickback issue); (3) the pressure applied by the Chinese government on its stu- dents and scholars to secure American support for their research and study in the United States; and (4) the frequency with which PRC students and scholars fail to purchase health insurance. Each of these areas is discussed in detail in Chapter 5, which deals with the role of American universities in the academic exchanges. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN CHINA, 1979 - 1984 Numbers of American Students and Scholars There is considerably less information about Americans who went to China from 1979 through 1984 than there is for PRC Chinese who came to the United States. The Chinese are in the best position to count Americans traveling to China, because visitors must first obtain visas from the Chinese. In practice, however, these Chinese statistics pose several problems, one of which is that an unknown number of Ameri- can scholars travel to China on tourist visas and then undertake aca- demic work while they are in China. According to general information provided by the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), the number of Americans going to China for academic purposes grew rapidly from 1979 through 1983, although the total is much smaller than the number of Chinese coming to the United States for academic purposes. These figures do not indicate how many different individuals have traveled to China, since some stay for more than one year or across calendar years, and many have made multiple visits. If the repeat visitors constitute 10 to 20 percent of the total provided by the Chinese (Table 3-21), approximately 2,900 to 3,300 American students and scholars would have traveled to China for what the Chinese government considers academic purposes. U.S. citizens actually taking courses at Chinese institutions of higher learning constitute only a modest percentage of total foreign enrollment
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54 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED TABLE 3-21 American Students and Scholars Traveling to the PRC, by Category, 1979 Through 1983 Category of Scholar 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 Scholars sent by CSCPRC 33 44 24 25 27 Fulbright scholars O O O 10 0 Students sent by CSCPRC 29 10 21 14 10 Intercollegiate 36 179 183 200 about 200 Short-term 0 0 400 800 1,200 English teachers 0 0 0 0 200 Total 98 233 628 1~049 about 1,600 NOTE: This table, provided by the Embassy of the PRC, obviously is missing data—for correct figures on Fulbright scholars and CSCPRC students and scholars, see Tables 4-1 and A-ll and Chapter 4 in this report. For more recent aggregate figures, see Beijing Review, No. 31 (Aug. 5, 1985), pp. 13-14, which reports, "Some 3,500 American students [and scholars?] have come to China since 1979." SOURCE: Embassy of the People's Republic of China. in China. In late 1984, the MOE announced that there were 2,500 "foreign students for regular courses."22 The number of such American students implied in Table 3-21 (for 1983) is only about 12 percent of this number (if one counts the categories of "Intercollegiate" and "Students sent by CSCPRC"~. In "short-term" classes, which the Chinese say "are mainly in the Chinese language,"23 the percentage of Americans is larger. In the MOE report of late 1984 cited above, then-Minister of Education He Dongchang said that there were 4,000 "foreign students for short-term studies...."24 According to the Chinese figures in Table 3-21, therefore, Americans appear to constitute a significant percentage of the foreigners in China for short-term study. From 1981 through 1983 (see Table 3-21), between two-thirds and three-quarters of the American students and scholars who went to China were categorized as "short-term." This figure includes many American academics who have gone to China to lecture and teach (e. g., English teachers). In 1984 Li Tao, then director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of China's MOE, underscored this point when he reportedly said, "Since 1979 China has invited hundreds of U.S. experts, most of them teachers of English, to lecture for one or two years in colleges."25 In that same report, Li Tao also emphasized a critical dimension of the exchanges from the Chinese perspective—the role of the many Ameri- can scientists who have gone to the PRC to lecture for short periods and contribute to the development of the natural sciences in China.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 55 The disparity between the number of Americans going to China and that of Chinese coming to the United States is characteristic of Ameri- ca's exchange relationships with developing societies. It also reflects global patterns. For example, in academic year 1981-1982, a total of 30,552 American students were studying abroad. In the same academic year, there were 326,299 foreign students in the United States.26 Sirowy and Inkeles make an important point concerning this global imbalance in exchanges, noting that in 1973, Asian nations sent 40.9 percent of all students who went abroad and received only 13.4 percent of the global total of foreign students. Conversely, North American nations sent 12.1 percent of all students going abroad and received 33.2 percent of the world total.27 Fields of Study The patterns of study in Sino-American exchange are like those Sirowy and Inkeles observed worldwide: students from the Third World tend to focus on pure and applied science, while those from economi- cally advanced nations are more often concentrated in the liberal arts disciplines.28 The field distribution displayed in Table 3-22 is based on reports from 30 American universities with Asian studies programs. The numbers should not be viewed in absolute terms, as they are only a small sample of American scholars. Nonetheless, they provide a rough approximation of the distribution of areas of interest among Americans who go to China for research. Predictably, the social sciences and humanities dominate, with approximately two-thirds of the researchers. Agricul- ture and engineering were the next most popular fields, with only a few scholars in each of the other categories. Of the American graduate students and faculty in Chinese studies who conducted or planned to conduct a month or more of research in the PRC from 1978-1979 through 1984-1985 (see Table 3-23), more than 50 percent were in history and literature, with an additional 17 percent in political science/ international relations. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS Six broad conclusions emerge from this statistical characterization of Sino-American exchange. First, the academic relationship between the two countries from 1979 through 1984 has been shaped very consider- ably by a developing country establishing academic ties with an eco- nomically and technologically advanced country. The fields of study of
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56 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED TABLE 3-22 Percentage Distribution of American Graduate Students and Faculty in All Fields Who Conducted or Planned to Conduct One Month or More of Research in the PRC, by Field, 1978-1979 Through 1983-1984 Field of Study Agriculture American studies Architecture Business management Computer and information sciences Education Engineering Health sciences Humanities Law Library and archival sciences Life sciences Mathematics Physical sciences Social sciences Total N= Percent 6 2 3 2 2 1 7 3 26 1 3 3 4 38 100 (392) NOTE: The symbol "—" indicates a value less than 0.5 percent. SOURCE: Questionnaire responses from Asian studies departments at 30 universities. Respondents were asked to estimate, "How many graduate students and scholars at your university outside of China studies have conducted research for one month or more in the PRC from academic year 1978-1979 through academic year 1983-1984?" Added to these data were figures, estimated by the same respondents, for students and scholars in China studies fields. TABLE 3-23 Percentage Distribution of American Chinese Studies Graduate Students and Faculty Conducting or Planning One Month or More of Research in the PRC, by Field, 1978-1979 Through 1984-1985 Field of Study Anthropology Art history Economics History Linguistics Literature Political science/international relations Sociology Total Percent 7 s 6 28 s 25 17 6 100 (199) N= NOTE: Figures for 1984-1985 are those who planned to conduct research at time of survey. SOURCE: Questionnaire responses from Asian studies departments at 30 universities.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 57 the PRC Chinese in America, the uneven flow of students and scholars between China and the United States, the low priority accorded the study of agriculture for the Chinese, and Americans' interest in pursu- ing work in the humanities and social sciences in China are all charac- teristic of the academic relations between Third World countries and the United States. Although the Sino-American academic relationship has its own distinctive character, the broader similarities should not be overlooked or incorrectly ascribed to the PRC's political and social sys- tem. Second, the clear imbalance in the flow of students and scholars moving between China and the United States is likely to grow in the years ahead. Growth processes already under way, and decisions made by the PRC government in late 1984 and early 1985 to send more students and scholars abroad will both contribute to this trend. Ameri- cans should not permit this imbalance to distract them from the more important issue of quality. Rather, they should concentrate on improv- ing the quality of the experience that U.S. students and scholars have in China, and on making it possible for a broader range of Americans to go to China for long-term study and research. Access for both Americans in China and Chinese in the United States are discussed later, but it should be emphasized here that, over time, there will be an erosion of goodwill if Americans come to perceive a lack of responsiveness on the part of the Chinese. Third, although it is not known how many PRC students and scholars return to China, the personal characteristics of the F-1 students suggest that many will seek to remain in the United States. The Chinese govern- ment's recent decision to permit more "self-supported" students to go abroad signals; in the authors' view, its willingness to accept this. Fourth, American universities (themselves drawing funds from many sources) have been the single largest category of financial supporters of PRC students and scholars in the United States, contributing more than the Chinese government itself. American universities have funded the Chinese for several reasons, among them: the quality and competitive performance of PRC students (see Chapter 5), the comparative ease with which the Chinese have been absorbed into American university communities, and the important teaching and research roles played by PRC Chinese students in many graduate science programs. Fifth, tine' geographic and institutional origin in China of PRC stu- dents and scholars coming to the United States raises questions about China's development strategy and U.S. involvement with it. Most Chi- nese who study in the United States are from three coastal areas and a small number of "key" schools. Although the implications of this are by
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58 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED no means self-evident, China's unity has long been dependent on the prevention of gross disparities between different regions of the country. Should such an imbalance develop and assume politically significant forms, the United States could become associated with the contested development strategy. This suggests that American institutions, in establishing ties with their Chinese counterparts, might profitably con- sider geographic and institutional diversification in the PRC. Indeed, the eagerness with which inland provinces now are seeking external ties may represent new opportunities for some American scholars and insti- tutions. Sixth, if American policy is aimed at training a Chinese generation that wouIc] be in place for a long time to come, the declining average age of PRC ]-ls coming to the United States is significant. Because more and younger Chinese are coming to the United States, the effects of the present program—whatever they may be—will endure. NOTES 1. The figure 14,000 comes from Guo-cang Huan, "Taiwan: A View from Beijing," Foreign Affairs (Summer 1985), p. 1074. The findings in this report are based upon both quantitative and qualitative infor- mation from program files, specific data sets described below, questionnaires, tele- phone and personal interviews, commissioned papers, and published sources. Each source has strengths and weaknesses, but together they provide a comprehensive view of Sino-American scholarly exchange. The details of the principal sources are described below. (Before proceeding further, the reader is advised to review the terms in the Glossary.) Records of Visas Issued to PRC Students and Scholars in 1983. The PRC persons of interest in this study fall into a number of categories. The largest proportion of them are students; next are research scholars, and the remainder are professors, trainees, teachers, or international visitors. Because all such persons must be issued visas from the American Embassy or consulates in China before they may travel to the United States, a survey of the application forms for Chinese citizens issued visas yields a complete count of all categories of persons traveling for scholarly reasons. The records of all visas issued during 1983 are stored at the American Embassy in Beijing and at the consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Of the 4,391 F and J visas issued in 1983, 96 percent were located and hand-coded for this study. The names of individual subjects were not included in the coding process. An important strength of this information is that it covers both J-1 and F-1 visas. J-1 visas are issued to students, research scholars, teachers, trainees, and international visitors. Persons issued J-1 visas are considered to possess a higher level of scholarship and generally are subject to the "two-year rule" (see Glossary). In the PRC, these individuals generally are considered to be "officially sponsored." F-1 visas are issued only to students, and, for the most part, these individuals are supported by funds from relatives or personal sources. The Chinese generally refer to these persons as "self- paying" or "privately sponsored" (see Glossary), though the overlap between Ameri-
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 59 can visa categories and Chinese designations is imperfect. Therefore, it is possible to compare the attributes and activities of the Chinese in the two visa categories of interest in this study. A weakness of the visa data is that they are available only for 1983, since some earlier data were destroyed according to regulation, making it impossible to analyze trends over time. Because this type of information is so valuable, the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (CSCPRC) will continue to compile these data for subsequent years. Some time lag is inevitable since records for one year cannot be examined until the following calendar year. IAP-66 Data Concerning J-1 Students and Scholars. The United States Information Agency (USIA) routinely collects information on the students and scholars who receive J-1 visas. This information is recorded on a form called the IAP-66, which is filled out annually by sponsors of these visa holders. For this study, 26,301 records from 1979 into 1984 were analyzed. The principal strength of the USIA data is their existence over a period of several years, which permits analysis of trends. Also, they provide valuable information about the financial support provided by different types of sponsors. Unfortunately, fewer items of information are available for this data set than for the 1983 visa data. Moreover, F visa holders (all of whom are students and the great majority of whom are in the United States under private arrangements) are not included. Questionnaires. In 1984, a questionnaire was sent to 391 American universities and colleges that were identified as having five or more Chinese students and scholars. Of these questionnaires, about 60 percent were returned; 55 percent of the total sent out were usable. The questionnaire provided information about how universities handle students from the PRC, including admissions policies, student adjustment, problems in health and housing, and financing. (See Appendix B for a complete list of respond- ing institutions.) To obtain information about American students and scholars traveling to China, another survey was sent in mid-1984 to 64 universities with Asian studies programs; 50 percent of these questionnaires were returned, a marginal response rate that limits the ability to generalize. However, this is one of the few sources available on Ameri- cans visiting China for scholarly purposes. These questionnaires were analyzed by hand, and many interesting qualitative comments were obtained. (See Appendix C for a complete list of responding programs.) Other Sources of Information. To compare various programs that send students and scholars to China for study and research, telephone interviews were conducted with 11 individuals known to have received grants to study or to undertake research in China from the CSCPRC and from other programs. Additionally, onsite interviews were conducted with administrators and faculty at seven American universities and colleges (Appalachian State University, University of California at Berkeley, Hofstra University, University of Minnesota, Oberlin College, University of Pittsburgh, and Stanford University) to compile case studies on institutional experiences with U.S.- China exchanges. These schools were selected by the study steering committee, which sought to include a variety of types of institutions. Also, limited formal and informal discussions were held with representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, representatives of China's Ministry of Education (MOE), and officials of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 2. Table 3-2 shows that 12,222 "new" arrivals in the J-1 category came to the United States in the 1979-1983 period. This indicates that the double-counting problem is not great, because the total of 12,514 J-1 visas issued (in Table 3-1) is only slightly higher
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60 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED than the figure of 12,222 for "new arrivals" in Table 3-2. If it is assumed that a person who interrupts his or her stay in the United States with a trip back to China is counted as a "continuing" student or scholar upon return to the United States, then most Chinese students and scholars appear to have stayed in the United States for the full duration of their studies, during the period under study. Furthermore, if it is assumed that the double-counting problem is no more severe among privately sponsored stu- dents (the 7,358 F-ls in Table 3-1) than for J-ls, this would mean that a total of about 19,000 Chinese students and scholars have come to study in the United States during the 1979-1983 period. Note, however, as time progresses, the double-counting prob- lem is expected to become more severe, since more Chinese may have the opportunity to come to the United States for a second time. 3. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), Apr. 24, 1984, p. B12, from Xinhua: "The ministry [of Education] sent the first group of 52 visiting scholars to the United States on December 26, 1978.... China has since sent 8,900 government-financed students to the United States, 3,600 of whom have graduated and returned. Most of the remaining 5,300 are visiting scholars and post-graduates. Another 4,000 Chinese students are studying in the United States at their own expense." This report, however, cannot be usefully assessed because the period covered by the figures is not precisely specified. As discussed later in this chapter, there appear to be serious gaps in China's statistical collection system. 4. Interview, May 23, 1984, Washington, D. C. 5. Mary Ellen Adams, Alfred C. Julian, and Krista Van Laan, eds., Open Doors: 1983/ 84, Report on International Educational Exchange (New York: Institute of Interna- tional Education, 1984), p. 18; and Open Doors: 1979/80 (New York: IIE, 1980). 6. This is consistent with the earlier 1981 findings of Thomas Fingar and Linda A. Reed, Survey Summary: Students and Scholars from the People s Republic of China in the United States, August 1981 (Washington, D.C.: U.S.-China Education Clearing House, 1981), pp. 5 and 8 (hereafter referred to as Survey Summary, 1981). 7. IIE News Release, Sept. 5, 1984. 8. "China Will Send More Students Overseas," China Daily, Nov. 30, 1984. 9. FBIS, Jan. 15, 1985, pp. K12-K14, from Xinhua. 10. Larry Sirowy and Alex Inkeles, "University-Level Student Exchanges: The U.S. Role in Global Perspective," in Elinor G. Barber, ea., Foreign Student Flows: Their Signif- icance for American Higher Education, Report on conference held at Spring Hill Center, Wayzata, Minnesota, April 13-15, 1984 (New York: Institute of International Education, 1985), pp. 60-61. 11. The seemingly low numbers of ]-1 visa holders who intend to study computer science in the United States can be explained by the fact that the general category of "engi- neering" includes several computer-related subfields. 12. According to National Center for Education Statistics material, supplied by Tom Snyder. 13. John S. Aird, "The Preliminary Results of China's 1982 Census," The China Quar- terly, No. 96 (December 1983), pp. 616-617. 14. When applying for an F-1 visa, a document called the "Student Data Form" is required to be completed. This document, which requests information on educational background, was not available for J-ls, and the educational background information frequently was missing for F-ls. 15. CAS released two (somewhat contradictory) figures which indicate that the Academy had sent well in excess of 3,000 persons abroad throughout the world by mid-1984 (see Joint Publications Research Service thereafter referred to as JPRS], CPS-84-090, Dec.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCHANGE PARTICIPANTS 61 2O, 1984, P. S & M [Political, Sociological, and Military Affairs], pp. 51-52, from Guangming Riboo; also JPRS, CPS-84-090, Dec. 20, 1984, P. S & M, pp. 69-70, from Xinhua); CAS has provided CSCPRC staff with moderately detailed figures on scholars sent to the United States. 16. Twenty-nine percent of all foreign students in the United States in academic year 1983-1984 were female. IIE News Release, Sept. 5, 1984. 17. These estimates were computed based on a projected total number of F-ls and multi- plied by the average annual amount spent per year per J-1. However, this calculus assumes that J-ls and F-ls cost the same on average (see Table A-10 for methods of calculation). 18. It was possible to determine the amount of money that a student or scholar received from different sources to cover tuition and room and board (but not air tickets). This information was available for about 80 percent of the J-ls from 1979 through 1983. It was assumed that this group is representative of all J-1 visa holders. 19. Fingar and Reed, Survey Summary, 1981, p. 23. 20. China Daily, Nov. 30, 1984. 21. Ordinary least-squares regression analysis was used, and variables that were signifi- cant to at least the .05 level of probability were included in the results. 22. FBIS, Dec. 13, 1984, p. K17, from Xinhua. 23. FBIS, Apr. 24, 1984, p. B12, from Xinhua. 24. FBIS, Dec. 13, 1984, p. K17, from Xinhua. 25. FBIS, Apr. 24, 1984, p. B12, from Xinhua. 26. Open Doors, 1982/83, pp. 1 and 86. 27. Sirowy and Inkeles, in Foreign Student Flows, pp. 36-37. 28. Ibid., p. 41.
Representative terms from entire chapter: