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China's education expo attracts record 400 schools from overseas
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The 13th China International Education Exhibition Tour (CIEET), to fall on March 1 to 16, has attracted a record 400 higher educational institutes from nearly 30 countries and regions.

"Schools overseas have been competing for Chinese students in recent years," said Fang Maotian, director of the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) under the Ministry of Education, in Beijing on Wednesday.

As Fang noted, this year marked the 30th anniversary of an important speech on expanding scholarly exchange by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Over the last 30 years, China has seen a rapid progress in scholarly exchange.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that since 2002, China had more than 100,000 people engaging in overseas study each year. In the year 2005, people studying abroad totaled 118,500, of which 106,500 were self-sponsored.

According to Fang, the expo this year has attracted representatives from countries popular with Chinese students, such as Britain, France, Holland, Ireland, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

China saw a great internal demand for overseas study after it adopted the reform and opening-up policy in 1978. At that time, overseas study meant better job and greater expectation since people with international education background were urgently needed.

In recent years, however, overseas-returned students were no longer rare and found getting a job harder.

The China International Education Exhibition Tour will go to Beijing, Dalian, Xi'an, Chongqing, Shanghai, Changsha and Guangzhou.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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