In case you’re thinking that Chinese students must be some of “the best and the brightest” who provide the brain power needed by America’s engineering schools, nothing could be further from the truth. Most Chinese students have no better than average ability, and many do not speak, write, or understand English well enough to contribute significantly to the academic community. A professor of Chinese history at New York University told the Wall Street Journal that students from China often pose a “burden” on her lectures, which she has to modify for their benefit. Many Chinese students “are woefully underprepared,” she said. WholeRen Education, a U.S. company that caters to students from China, reported that some 8,000 Chinese students were expelled from American universities last year, mostly for poor academic performance or cheating. “Chinese students used to be considered top-notch,” a WholeRen executive said, “but over the past five years their image has changed completely – [they are] wealthy kids who cheat.”
Some Chinese families aren’t waiting to send their kids off to college in the U.S., but are starting much earlier. About 35,000 K-12 students from China, some as young as 10 years old, now live in the U.S. and attend U.S. public schools.
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