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American students lose interest in China studies


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Early in his presidency, Obama set a goal to vastly increase the number of Americans studying Chinese and taking part in academic programs in China. Eight years later, American universities are experiencing a decline in the enrollment in Chinese language courses and study abroad programs.


Stanford University announced in January it would indefinitely suspend its undergraduate program in Beijing as of May. The university had earlier merged its Chinese and Japanese language degree programs into a single East Asian studies course. The University of Pennsylvania and Williams College in Massachusetts may also follow suit.


A key factor in American students’ decreasing interest in studying in China is the changing views of China in recent years. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in a January poll by Pew Research Center said they saw China as either an adversary or a serious problem.


The researchers said negative views of China rose 21 percentage points between 2006 and 2016 among young Americans. Some students don’t want to spend time in the polluted environment of China, with their parents also having a big say in this.


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