After finishing their education abroad at their own expense in 2005, approximately 27,200 Chinese nationals chose to return to work in their homeland which is 47.9 percent up on the previous year, the Ministry of Education said in Beijing on Monday.
The ministry's spokesman Wang Xuming told a press conference that though China saw a slight annual increase of 2.1 percent in the number of Chinese studying abroad at their own expense last year the number of those returning had mushroomed.
Altogether 118,500 Chinese had studied abroad in 2005. This figure included almost 4,000 funded by the government, some 8,000 dispatched by their employers and 106,500 who'd paid their own way, according to statistics from the ministry.
"The booming economy, increased opportunities to start their own businesses and preferential policies for returned students have drawn more Chinese students home," said Zhang Xiuqin, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council under the ministry.
About 933,400 Chinese had gone abroad to study between 1978-2005 and 232,900 had returned, the ministry said.
The ministry also said the number of foreigners studying in China was 141,000 in 2005 up 27.28 percent from the figure a year earlier. Of the total 86,679 of them came to China to study Mandarin (putonghua).
(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2006)