South Yorkshire Police launched an investigation after nine students were struck over the head in the city centre and left with cuts and bruises between September 7 and September 26.
The Chinese Consulate General in Manchester said it “strongly condemned” the attacks and called on the university and the police to “take decisive measures”.
Shan He was charged with two counts of assault by beating and one count of possession of an offensive weapon, in relation to two of the incidents
The 33-year-old, of Edward Street, Sheffield, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody.
Police say another person has been arrested in connection with seven of the attacks and they remain in custody.
A university spokesman said: "The university is aware of a former student who has been arrested following a number of incidents within Sheffield, and the University of Sheffield is engaging fully with the Police.
"We were saddened to learn of these incidents and are doing everything we can to support the students involved and assist the police in their investigation.
"The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our top priority and we take incidents like this extremely seriously.
“We are committed to ensuring that all our students and staff have confidence that they study, work and live in a safe and inclusive environment."