Wichita colleges connect to China

Chinese student enrollment hits record levels

Fei Li first learned of Wichita State University from a friend of a friend when she was considering leaving China to study at an American university. She was told the people in Wichita are "very nice."

"He said it's not like New York. It's suitable for study here," Li said.

Li, who enrolled three months ago and is earning a master's degree in economics, is one of 132 Chinese students at WSU this fall.

The number of Chinese students at WSU has more than quadrupled in the past two years, up from 28 in the fall of 2006.

Nationally, Chinese students are enrolling in U.S. universities in record numbers, encouraged by aggressive recruiting combined with China's booming economy and growing middle class.

Their enrollment grew by 8 percent nationwide in the fall of 2006 and by 20 percent during the 2007-2008 school year, according to Institute of International Education figures released this week.

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