Indian, not Chinese, tops foreign student enrollment in PH—CHED

Indian, not Chinese, tops foreign student enrollment in PH—CHED

THE House began the probe on the surge of Chinese students in Cagayan Province. Contrary to expectations, they aren’t the largest group of foreign students in the country.

“For the last 7 years, the nationality with the highest number of foreign students are the Indian nationals, followed by Chinese nationals and third by the Nigerian nationals,” Atty. Cinderella Filipina Benitez, Executive Director, CHED said.

This is what CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez clarified at the start of Wednesday’s House Committee on Justice hearing on the Chinese student influx.

According to CHED’s data for the academic year 2023-2024, there are over 17,000 (17,202) foreign students enrolled in the Philippines. Of this number, nearly nine thousand (8,973) are Indian, over five thousand (5,334) are Chinese, and over eight hundred (838) are Nigerian.

Most Chinese students found in NCR, not in Region 2—CHED

Furthermore, CHED stated that the highest number of Chinese students is not in Region 2, where Cagayan is located, but in the National Capital Region.

According to CHED, the reason for the increase in foreign students in the country is the English medium and affordable education.

“Their ground for pursuing international study here in the Philippines which is the English as a medium of instruction, quality institutions. On the part of Region 2, SPUP is one of our autonomous and deregulated institutions. And of course affordability base on our evaluation of foreign students pursuing programs here in the Philippines,” Benitez added.

SPUP denies having 4,600 Chinese students, refutes P1.2-M charge for foreign students

Meanwhile, St. Paul University of the Philippines denied having 4,600 Chinese students enrolled with them. They clarified that the actual number is over eight hundred.

“We never reached a total of 4,600 Chinese students enrolled in any year at St. Paul University Philippines,” Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales, Director for Internationalization, SPUP expressed.

Many of them are in Tuguegarao. About 200. The others since they went home sometime their student visas expired so they have to apply for a new tourist visa.”

This was affirmed by the Bureau of Immigration:

“We have no data showing of the 4,600 students,” Atty. Norman Tansingco, Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration stated.

They also denied charging each foreign student P1.2 million.

This contradicts the allegation of Cagayan, 3rd District Rep. Jojo Lara regarding the said amount.

“St. Paul University does not charge P1.2 million.”

“In one year, the students enroll in four trimesters. So, for the students to complete their graduate school program, they are enrolled in at least 10 trimesters.”

“That’s only $10,000. So, it does not reach P1.2 million,” Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales, Director for Internationalization, St. Paul University of the Philippines said.

Increase in foreign students attributed to CHED’s ‘education hub’ promotion—BI

The reason for the increase in international students, including Chinese students in the country, according to the Bureau of Immigration:

“The Philippine government has been promoting the country as a regional and global education hub. CHED’s ‘study in Philippines campaign’ has greatly boosted the number of foreign students in the country,” Atty. Norman Tansingco, Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration said.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding was signed between CHED and the Chinese Ministry of Education to expedite bilateral cooperation in higher education. Aside from this, a memorandum of agreement was signed by Chinese President Xi and former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019.

BI ensures thorough process for foreign student entry to the country

Despite this, the agency ensures that they thoroughly review all documents of foreign students entering the country.

“100% we can assure the committee that the student visa section scrutinizes and assesses the completeness and the authenticity of all the supporting documents,” Tansingco added.

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