The secretary of the Spanish ministry of education, culture and sports Mr Federico Moran Abad, traveled to China on the 13th of September giving a talk to a group of Chinese investors and students in Spain in Beijing about Spain’s higher education system.
Following an agreement in 2007 Chinese students can be admitted to universities in Spain without taking the usual entrance exams and today China has the largest number of students in Spain from a non-EU country with numbers currently standing at around 6000 students.
This number has increased massively in the last 10 years rising from around 500 students in 2000. Two years ago First secretary Wang Zhiwei stated that Chinese and Spanish are two of the world’s most important languages making it essential for Chinese students to study the Spanish language and culture. Wang also noted that the number of Spanish students studying in China had also increased and now stands at around two thousand.
Many of the leading Spanish universities are now offering scholarships for Chinese students wishing to study in Spain and the numbers of Chinese students are predicted to more than double in the next few years.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Spain has also been growing rapidly year on year and is set to rise even faster following the Spanish governments new law granting permanent residency to non EU investors with Chinese buyers looking at investing in Spanish property to secure permanent Spanish residency for themselves and their families.
The China Daily have also reported that affluent Chinese students and investors are looking abroad particularly to Europe for high-return opportunities, access to European education for their children and free travel in the Schengen zone via the automatic approval of a permanent Spanish residency visa when purchasing a Spanish property over 500,000 euros.
Jones Lang LaSalle estimated that” China’s overseas investment will maintain a 30 percent growth rate in 2013, with real estate as a main investment target”.
Access to quality Educational systems and a higher standard of living are major attractions for high net worth individuals looking to invest overseas. Michelle Liu head of International Residential at Jones Lang La Salle Shanghai states that “From traditional immigration needs to children’s education to the value appreciation of assets, we believe that Chinese investors and students in Spain demand for overseas residential property assets will continue to grow rapidly”.