There are now roughly 330,000 Chinese students studying at American universities — a more than five-fold increase in just 10 years. The sheer size and rapid growth of this cohort are having seismic effects on American campuses, as well as raising questions about how years of immersion in American society are influencing a generation of young Chinese.
Join us for a discussion about what is driving the influx of Chinese students and what it means for American higher education, Chinese and American students alike, and the prospect for a smoother U.S.-China relationship.
We invite Peggy Blumenthal, Isabelle (Muge) Niu, Siqi Tu, and Isaac Stone Fish to discuss.
Peggy Blumenthal is Senior Counselor to the President at the Institute of International Education (IIE). She transitioned to this role in 2011 after having served as IIE’s Chief Operating Officer for six years. Before joining IIE in 1984, Ms. Blumenthal served as Assistant Director of Stanford University’s Overseas Studies and then as Coordinator of Graduate Services/Fellowships for the University of Hawaii’s Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. Her prior career focused on the development of U.S.-China exchanges as a staff member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Asia Society’s China Council. Her recent publications include the article “Welcoming a New Wave of Students from China: Rising Expectations and Challenges” in New Directions for Student Services. Ms. Blumenthal holds a B.A. from Harvard University in Modern Chinese History and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Isabelle (Muge) Niu
Isabelle (Muge) Niu is a journalist at Splinter and producer of Fusion’s TV documentary The Naked Truth—China Queer. Originally from Urumqi, Xinjiang, she first came to the United States to study at a Connecticut high school in 2008. From 2010 to 2013, she studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her B.A., where she co-founded Channel C — a YouTube video series that promotes understanding between American students and their Chinese peers studying in the U.S. In 2015, she received her M.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and previously worked as an editor at Caixin English in Beijing.
Siqi Tu is a Ph.D candidate in sociology at City University of New York researching the recent influx of Chinese students into U.S. private high schools, along with its transnational relevance to educational attainment, international migration, and elite education. She spent her undergraduate years at Fudan University in her native Shanghai, where she was also a part-time SAT instructor to Chinese students preparing to study in the United States. She moved to New York City as an international student herself in 2012, where she received her M.A. in sociology at Columbia University. She currently also teaches sociology at Brooklyn College.
Isaac Stone Fish
Isaac Stone Fish is a senior fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations. A frequent commentator on global affairs, Isaac’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Slate, and Time, among other publications, and he has appeared as a guest on ABC, NPR, MSNBC, BBC, and PRI, among others. He is writing a novel about Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un.