World's top minds bound for China

By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-29 07:01

China's most ambitious academic talent recruitment program has again wooed some of the world's top minds.

The annual Cheung Kong Scholar Program this year attracted 131 young professors from foreign universities and research institutes for a three-year study stint in China.

This year's program also included 71 professors from Chinese universities, nearly all of whom have earned PhD degrees at foreign universities, Minister of Education Zhou Ji, said yesterday.

The program, named after the Yangtze River the "mother river" of the Chinese civilization, targets scholars of the Chinese heritage with superior academic credentials who are aged below 50.

Running on an annual basis, the program has involved 1,108 professors in total, who have either worked abroad or earned foreign degrees. Ten of them are of non-Chinese backgrounds.

Scientists are given a professor seat at one of China's best universities and a preference for government and university funding for research.

In addition they also get a government bonus of between 300,000 and 500,000 yuan ($38,400-64,100), which is paid in three years, and amounts to twice the earnings of a professor at a standard domestic university.

"Professors with foreign backgrounds have contributed heavily to China's scientific research and development, since the program was launched by the Ministry of Education and the Li Ka Shing Foundation in Hong Kong in 1998," State Councilor Chen Zhili said yesterday.

(China Daily 03/29/2007 page4)

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