Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn When students return to American university campuses in the next few weeks, many things — such as mask mandates, social distancing measures, and vaccine requirements — will feel different from before. There will also be one other big change: far fewer Chinese students attending alongside them than normal. Attracted by some of the world’s best universities offering a more flexible educational approach, Chinese students have long been the largest international contingent at U.S. colleges. From 2005 to 2019, Chinese student enrollment at American colleges and universities grew by more than 490 percent to about 372,000 students, according to Institute for International Education data. But the growing tensions between the U.S. and China and a global pandemic has slowed — and may now have reversed — that growth. According to early Common Application data, there was an 18 percent drop in Chinese applicants seeking to enter this fall semester, even though there was aSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.