from Xinhua News

A total of 328,330 international students from 200 countries and regions studied in China in 2012, up 12.2 percent than 2011, according to the Ministry of Education on Thursday.

The Chinese government provided scholarships to 28,700 international students, who studied in China’s 690 universities and research institutions as well as other educational organizations, said Zhang Xiuqin, director of the ministry’s international division.

“We plan to attract 500,000 overseas students by 2020, which will make the largest receiver of international students in Asia,” said Zhang.

Zhang said that the Chinese government will further improve the scholarship mechanism and encourage local governments, educational institutions and social organizations to offer more funds for international students.

Departments such as public security and finance should offer more help. China will tighten supervision of quality in education with improved laws and regulations, Zhang added.