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A number of Shanghai's middle schools are preparing to recruit students from abroad, in tandem with Chinese middle school students' hot pursuit of going abroad, according to the local educational authority.

The latest official statistics show that a total of 71 middle schools in Shanghai have gained certificates from the local educational authority allowing them to enroll international students.

A group of Japanese parents paid a visit to Shanghai Ganquan Middle School earlier this week after the school held a public recruitment meeting in Osaka, Japan last December.

"They are considering sending their children to study here," said Liu Guohua, headmaster of the school. He said 10 Japanese children are already studying at the school which is known for its Japanese-language teaching.

Sources with the International Exchange Department under the Shanghai Education Commission said the city government will regularly organize these middle schools to go abroad to recruit students in the coming years.

"We are considering such a plan some time this year or next year," said the commission's Liu Jiangyuan.

According to Liu, the city has been organizing its colleges and universities to hold annual joint recruitment expositions abroad.

"Now, it's also a time for our middle schools to go abroad," said Liu, noting that it was "a natural tendency" as the city strengthens its links with the international community.

Shanghai's middle schools recruited more than 500 overseas students last year, mainly from Asian countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, according to commission statistics.

Overseas students at local middle schools also come from other countries including the United States, Canada, Brazil and Thailand.

(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2003)

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