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Studying Abroad at Own Cost in Vogue
The number of locals studying abroad at their own expense has risen 10-fold, compared to a decade ago, with the destination countries a much diversified lot, Shanghai Human Resources Research Center said.

The number amounted to nearly 10,000 last year, slightly lower than those in Beijing, which tops nation-wide, the center said.

"With the purse growing heavier for local families, overseas education is deem-ed as a significant means to achieve self-improvement and career development," said Shen Ronghua, a center researcher.

A survey by the center showed that 79 percent of outbound Shanghainese are college and secondary school students, mostly aged between 16 and 25 years.

Among the top desti-nations for Chinese students are Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada.

"The U.K. is gaining popularity in recent five years," Shen said. "The U.S. is always a magnet for our youth."

The U.S. Consulate General, Shanghai reported that last year alone, it issued 4,922 student visas to applicants from Shanghai and neighboring Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces

The consulate said the student visa applicant numbers have seen an annual growth rate of 10 percent in the past few years, with 80 percent of them seeking master's and doc-torate degrees.

Among the foreign degrees most coveted, the Master of Business Administration topped the list, with 11.8 percent students opting for the course, the report said.

The number of Chinese studying abroad exceeded 300,000 by 2000, accounting for 23.7 percent of the global total, according to Guang-ming Daily.

Annually, 25,000 Chinese students go abroad to study.

(eastday.com July 6, 2002)

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