More than 80 percent of university students in China want to study abroad, according to a new online survey.
The survey, conducted by the China Youth Daily and involving 2,400 university students, revealed that 42 percent of respondents believe an overseas education will be beneficial to their future career development.
It also showed 66 percent felt students with an education background overseas were more competitive than graduates from domestic universities when it came to job hunting.
"The CEOs of Nasdaq-listed Baidu and Sohu both received an overseas education," said He He, a student at Sichuan University, adding that the variety of majors offered by universities abroad was a significant factor.
Liang Ke, a senior student at Tsinghua Journalism School, plans to study social work via an AIDS education internship in India, explaining that universities at home rarely offer these kinds of courses.
Mao Tingting, who works for an agency that arranges overseas study for Chinese students, said students were attracted by the handsome scholarships on offer and better job prospects.
China's present five to ten percent growth in university enrolment makes graduates' job prospects gloomier, Mao added.
The survey also showed the favorite destinations for overseas study were the United States, Britain, France, Australia and Canada.
Statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that in 2006 more than 130,000 Chinese went abroad for further study.
To cope with the trend, China's National Education Examinations Authority recently announced it would offer 100,000 online TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) seats in 2008 to residents of the Chinese mainland, up 80 percent on the figure in 2007.
(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2007)