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Overseas students still seek first-tier cities on return to China

By Liu Wei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-07-22 17:28

Overseas students still favor the first-tier cities when they come back hunting for jobs, a report said.

About half of the overseas students who returned for domestic jobs are expecting to find jobs in advanced cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guanghzou and Shenzhen, according to a report released by the Ministry of Education.

An insider in the education field said the first-tier cities not only have more opportunities for overseas returnees who mainly study in finance and high technology but there are more headquarters of companies there which may offer higher salaries to their employees.

Wei Zhihua, a postgraduate majoring in radiation monitoring coming back from Sweden, thinks he's lucky to find a job in Shanghai after nine months of searching.

He said it's difficult for him to find a job that is related to his major as less than 100 people have such jobs in Shanghai, let alone in lower-tier cities.

But the situation has been changing gradually.

Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), said back in 2009, only 2 percent of returnees worked in central and western regions.

It is said in recent years the middle and western regions are putting in more effort to attract the returned talents through beneficial policies.

The report said above 10 percent of people choose to work in cities like Chengdu, Xi'an, Wuhan and Hangzhou in 2015.

The overseas students have even participated in the selections of ground-level officials or village heads since Beijing includes overseas returnees in the selection pool of college students to apply to be village heads in 2011.

Four out of twenty applicants who graduated from overseas universities have been offered the jobs.

In the following year, Changsha county, Hunan province attracted over 110 returnees to sign up for government service and only ten people have passed the selection and been assigned to work as ground-level officials in the county for three years.

These returnees apply what they learned overseas to their public service positions.

Qing Yuefei, born in the 1980s in Chongqing, has worked as the head of Hejiashan village, Hengshan county, Hunan province after graduating from Yale University in 2011.

He managed to raise more than 800,000 yuan in one year for local infrastructure through applying the experience he got at Yale.

Three years later when his contract was up, he was transferred to another village as the chief.

There he started up the philanthropic organization Heitumantian (black earth and cornfield) as a platform helping graduates who work as village officials and makers with innovative ideas in the village.

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