The government will begin to take measures to encourage and offer more opportunities to Chinese students to study abroad in the coming years, said Cao Guoxing, Director-General of The Department of International Cooperation and Exchange of Ministry of Education, at the Studying Abroad and Diversification of Human Resources Training Forum hosted by the 12th China International Education Exhibition Tour (CIEET) in Beijing recently.
As a matter of fact, similar measures were adopted more than one hundred years ago.
Cao Guoxing indicated that, with a view to improving the innovation ability of Chinese intellectuals, attention will be focused on graduates from high-level universities, whose overseas study is to be sponsored by the government. For five consecutive years, 5,000 students with at least a Ph.D. degree from first-rate universities will be sent abroad to study under the tutorship of celebrated scholars in the best universities or institutions of other countries around the world. Apart from the government-sponsored study mentioned above, people studying abroad at their own expense also take up a large proportion in this overseas study rush.
Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that the number of Chinese overseas students was 134,000 in 2006,a sharp rise from the number of 17,000 in 1998. In 2006, the number of students studying abroad at their own expense amounted to as many as 121,000, 90% of the total. According to the report, as many as 33.4 thousand self-sponsored students come back to China after studying abroad, taking up78.8% of the total number of returned overseas students in 2006.