Put off by U.S, Chinese students eye other universities

Caught in the crossfire of the U.S-China trade war, Chinese students are looking for alternative study destinations -- threatening to turn off an important source of revenue for American universities.

China accounts for nearly a third of foreign students on U.S campuses who pour billions of dollars into the economy, but in March their numbers dropped for the first time in a decade.

Visa delays, concerns over being shut out of research projects and safety fears have turned off Chinese students, according to several admissions consultancies and nearly a dozen parents and students interviewed by 'AFP'.

Rival education powerhouses such as Britain, Australia and Canada are the biggest beneficiaries, a survey by New Oriental China's biggest private education provider said.

Japan and South Korea -- traditional study abroad destinations for the Chinese elite -- and parts of Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavian countries with strong engineering programmes, have also seen an uptick in applications, the survey found.

The chilling effect started mid-last year, after President Donald Trump's administration slashed the visa duration of students in science and technology fields from five years to one in some cases.

(with news agency inputs)