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Educational Exchange Speeds up

China will send 7,245 students and scholars abroad next year, 3,100 more than this year, China Daily has learnt from the China Scholarship Council.

The number is a record high since the country began to send massive numbers of students and scholars abroad in 1978 when it implemented its opening-up policy.

The students and scholars will study subjects which are in dire need for the country's economic and social development:information and communications, agricultural high technology, life sciences, health and population sciences, new materials, energy resources, environment, engineering science and social sciences.

Domestic applicants are required to apply for the study from January 5 to March 10 of next year. Detailed information is available at the www.csc.edu.cn website.

China has also experienced an increasing number of foreign students coming to study on the mainland since 1978, according to the Ministry of Education.

From 1978 to 2003, the country received a total of 620,000 international students.

The students, after graduating from China and returning to their countries, have become government officials, diplomatic envoys to China or staff who play important roles in educational exchanges between China and other countries, among other roles.

The ministry's incomplete statistics indicate that among those foreign students who have graduated from China, 30 hold ministry-level posts in their homelands.

Last year alone, China received 78,000 students from 175 countries or regions. Students have studied liberal arts, medical science, engineering, and science and agronomy, and other fields at 353 universities across the country.

Among the students, most of them come from the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United States, Viet Nam and Indonesia.

By 2007, about 120,000 foreign students expect to come to China, according to the Department for International Co-operation and Exchanges at the Ministry of Education.

(China Daily December 23, 2004)

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