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Debate Arises Over Foreign Study Temptation

The ongoing China International Higher Education Exhibition Tour is set to stir debate over the enthusiasm of Chinese youngsters to study abroad and the brain drain on the nation.

The foreign education exhibition will end early March after visiting cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao in Shandong Province, Xi'an in Shaanxi Province and Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

Some 160 universities and educational institutions from 22 countries and regions have participated in the exhibition, according to an official from the China Service Center for Scholarly Exchange under the Ministry of Education.

Sources said that last year's exhibition attracted some 100,000 people, including 30,000 Beijingers.

China's rapid economic growth over the past 20 years has made overseas study a tempting educational possibility. Considerable number of Chinese students have turned to the United States and developed European countries for degrees at various levels.

Latest statistics indicate that more than 320,000 people -- including some 100,000 self-funded students -- have gone abroad for higher study since 1978.

However, the boom in overseas study has sounded some alarm bells among educational experts in a fear that the outflow of outstanding Chinese students might cause a serious brain drain for the country. Meanwhile, Chinese students' foreign tours have put some four billion yuan (US$482 million) into the pocket of foreign educational institutions.

The Chinese government has paid close attention to the brain drain and adopted various preferential policies to attract overseas students back.

To date, approximately a third of the Chinese, who had received foreign education, have returned to China, sources said.

(Xinhua 02/26/2001)

In This Series

China High-tech Exhibition Opens in Beijing

Shanghai Leads in English Education

West Set to Reverse the Brain Drain



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