Chinese universities are making more efforts to attract foreign students, China Daily reported Thursday.
According to data cited by the newspaper, with international enrollments reaching 489,200 by 2017, China has become the world's third-largest destination for foreign students. The figure is expected to reach 500,000 by 2020.
Chinese universities have ranked higher in international rating tables in recent years, and are making significant progress to increase global influence, said the report.
In order to attract foreign students, Chinese universities have set up overseas campuses or collaborative laboratories. For example, in 2015, Tsinghua University built an exchange center in the United States, in collaboration with the University of Washington and Microsoft.
China has also reached a multilateral agreement with the other BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa -- to boost greater cooperation in research, postgraduate training and academic publishing, said the paper.
China has been trying to expand its educational influence for years. In 2014, the Ministry of Education announced policies aiming at promoting Chinese education internationally and set up a program for overseas scientific and technological cooperation.