The Chinese government is to fund more scholars to study abroad
to help meet the demand for skills in its social and economic
development, the Ministry of Education said in Beijing Monday.
Cao Guoxing, director-general with the Ministry's International
Cooperation and Exchanges Department, said the central budget
allocated 2.2 billion yuan (US$275 million) to fund scholars
studying abroad from 2001 to 2005, up nearly 50 percent from the
previous five years.
The central budget had increased funding for the next five
years, Cao said, although he did not specify the amount of the
money being added.
Statistics from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) show that
22,031 people studied abroad with government funding or resources
from 1996 to 2005, including a record 7,000 last year, up 75
percent from the previous year.
Most students went to the United States, Great Britain, Germany,
Australia and Canada, according to the CSC.
"As well as government funding, we'll send more scholars abroad
by developing, consolidating or renewing international cooperation
and exchange programs," Cao said.
The government was looking forward to selecting more graduates
in key research areas, such as communications, life sciences, new
materials, and energy sources and environment, said Cao.
"We aim to dispatch 10,000 graduates abroad in the next five
years if adequate funding can be found," Cao said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2006)