China / Society

Fewer Chinese overseas students staying abroad

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-24 14:48

BEIJING - A survey of Chinese college students planning further studies abroad showed that most prefer to return to China after overseas studies, the China Youth Daily reported on Thursday.

The survey, conducted by a research team with Tianjin-based Nankai University, polled 1,872 undergraduate students in 11 universities in Beijing and Tianjin.

All respondents, majoring in 41 disciplines, are planning to pursue further studies in foreign countries.

However, less than 10 percent of them are aiming to immigrate after graduating from foreign institutions; about 47 percent said they sought self enrichment and higher competence in the job market by studying abroad; nearly 40 percent are after a better quality of education; and less than four percent admit their choices are made out of herd mentality.

Gao Chang, the head of the research team, said the noticeable trend of "studying abroad but not immigrating" is in sharp contrast to what things were like a decade ago.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education underline Chinese overseas students' willingness to return home. Out of 2.24 million overseas students from 1978 to 2011, 818,400 had returned after studies.

Among those who had returned, more than half, or 429,300, had done so in just three years from 2009 to 2011. And 2011 alone registered 186,200 returned students.

Pei Lei, a student returned from Great Britain and now a research fellow with Nankai University, told China Youth Daily, that given limited job opportunities abroad and relatively favorable economic situations at home, more Chinese overseas students are considering coming back.

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