Only 2 percent of mainland graduates from Hong Kong universities returned to the mainland to work this year, a survey by the University of Hong Kong has found.
Forty-six percent of mainland graduates chose to work in Hong Kong, 27 percent chose to further their studies at overseas universities, 20 percent continued their studies in Hong Kong and 5 percent went to work abroad.
Earning power is the major reason for graduates' reluctance to return to the mainland.
The average starting salary for graduates in Hong Kong is HK$12,000 (US$1,500) while in Beijing it is 2,300 yuan (US$294).
Aside from the higher pay, mainland students can obtain permanent residency permits after studying and working for seven years in Hong Kong, sources with the University of Hong Kong explained.
The number of students applying to study in Hong Kong universities has risen rapidly since the universities were allowed to recruit mainland students in 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2006)