Thanks to the government policy of reform and opening to the outside world and the strategy of rejuvenating the nation by relying on science and education, a large number of talented students have studied abroad since 1978. In the past 20-odd years, the scale and intensity in which the government has sent students to study abroad are rare in Chinese history as well as in the world.
According to statistics of the Ministry of Education, there are 380,000 Chinese students studying abroad, and some of them have become world-famous scientists or have made outstanding achievements in science and technology. Their researches and achievements have involved almost all major hi-tech fields in today’s world. Over 140,000 students have returned so far, and the figure is increasing by 13 percent each year.
The government has adopted several preferential policies in recent years, including establishing “pioneer centers for returned students,” to encourage this group who have finished their studies and are in the prime of their career to return to set up businesses in China. Such policies have had considerable attraction for Chinese students studying abroad. Most returned students choose to set up new and high technology enterprises. So far, there are over 60 pioneer centers for returned students and some 4,000 enterprises set up by them countrywide, with a total production value in excess of 10 billion yuan.