A record 134,000 Chinese students are currently showing their country's academic potential by studying in overseas universities in 2006. However, Ministry of Education figures show that around 90 percent of them are bearing the full burden of their education costs.
Of the Some returned to China from overseas in 2006, at a press conference on Monday, MOE official Shao Wei stated that of the 33,400 or so students who returned from overseas in 2006, close to 80 percent had paid their own way.
The MOE provided a range of figures showing trends among Chinese students going abroad for further education. As their numbers have grown by 11 times in the last five years, 47.5 of them pursued social science majors while 45 percent chose engineering and technology, with computer science, administration and finance all featuring among the most popular majors. The number of Chinese students overseas has increased by a factor of 11 over the past five years, according to the MOE.
Addressing the fact that many overseas Chinese students enroll en masse for the same subjects, Shao admitted this could lead to over-crowded sectors of the job market upon their return. He cautioned students to make wiser choices and to consider the Chinese job marker before leaving, to minimize prolonged periods of unemployment in the future.
Since China's opening up in the late 70s, close to 1 million Chinese have studied abroad, with the annual rate increasing to over 100,000 since 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2007)