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China to Fund More Scholars to Study Abroad
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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)

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