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Profound Thinking on Stopping Brain Drain

More efforts are needed to cultivate higher-level talents and halt the brain drain in order to meet the demand of economic growth now the country is a member of the World Trade Organization.

To attract more overseas Chinese scholars to return home, the Chinese Government will continue to create a favorable climate for them to run laboratories, technological firms or scientific parks, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.

To encourage college teachers to excel at academic programs, the ministry will implement a series of talent-oriented plans, such as the Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Scholars Program and the Cross-Century Talent Program.

Universities are urged to set up science parks or engineering research centers to speed up the commercialization of technological findings, said the ministry's information department.

The Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Scholars Program was jointly launched in August 1998 by the Ministry of Education and Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Ka-shing and his Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd.

Under the program, major universities will invite 500 to 1,000 overseas or domestic professors within the next five years to conduct research.

Each professor will get 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) in subsidies annually to support their research programs. Those who make breakthroughs will be awarded prizes ranging from 500,000 yuan (US$60,000) to 1 million yuan each year.

A total of 413 overseas and domestic professors have been invited by 114 universities to work on significant academic projects.

China realized in the 1980s and the early 1990s that researchers and university teachers were quitting their jobs because of low incomes and moving into business to make more money or going overseas.

The Chinese Government began to reverse the trend over the past decade by increasing the incomes of teachers and researchers.

The government's effort has paid off in educational and scientific circles.

(China Daily February 23, 2002)

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