A growing number of Chinese are returning to work at home after studying abroad thanks to the country's booming economic growth.
From 1978 to the end of 2006, roughly 1.1 million Chinese went abroad for studies, and 275,000 or 26 percent of them returned home to work, the Ministry of Education figures show.
But the situation is fast changing because "China's domestic business environment has improved significantly and more students now like to return home", said Yu Minhong, chairman of Beijing New Oriental Group, a leading language training organization that has helped thousands of Chinese students to study abroad.
Only a dozen Chinese students went abroad for studies in 1978. They were the first batch of Chinese to venture abroad for studies after the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976).
Studying overseas became a craze after Deng Xiaoping instructed education departments in June 1978 to expand the scale of people traveling overseas for studies.
About 3,000 Chinese students, funded by the government, were sent to about 20 countries in 1978-1979. The number of students traveling abroad has continued to rise rapidly in the following years, especially after the launching of a policy in 1985 that allowed ordinary people to study abroad on their own.
Dean of Peking University's biological sciences institute Rao Yi was one of the lucky students who benefited from the lenient policy. A graduate of Shanghai medical university, Rao joined the University of California in San Francisco in 1985.
Rao, who benefited greatly from studying abroad, decided to return to the country last year, leaving a professor's post in US Northwest University.
"I hope that through our efforts the biological sciences institute of Peking University can become a world class institute," he said.
(China Daily January 17, 2008)