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Record 20,100 Students Back Home from Abroad

Some 20,100 Chinese who finished their studies abroad came back home last year, the biggest number to do so since China adopted the opening-up policy in 1978, the Ministry of Education said in Beijing Monday.


Among the 20,100, 13,200 were self-funded overseas students, 15 percent more than in the previous year, the ministry said.


The rest were sent to study abroad by the government and their employers.


Meanwhile, some 117,300 people went to study abroad in 2003, 6.3 percent less than in 2002, and the number of self-funded students shrank by 6.8 percent to 109,200, the ministry said.


The ministry attributed the reduction partly to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the first half of 2003, which held some foreign countries back from granting visas to Chinese students.


A total of 700,200 Chinese have studied in 108 countries and regions since 1978, and 172,800 have returned home.


Among those staying abroad, 356,600 have not finished their studies or research, the ministry said.


Some 81 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 54 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering studied abroad.


(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2004)

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