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Education expo lures students
By Liu Qin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-25 01:01

To study abroad or not to study abroad, that is the question for many students.

Instead of swarming abroad blindly, more and more Chinese students are now pondering the question.

Leo Edwards (centre), a British study group Beijing area manager, tells teacher Xiang Dongfang from Changping First High School in Beijing about British educational institutions yesterday at the Beijing International Education Expo 2004. The expo is being held at the Beijing International Exhibition Centre. [newsphoto]

"I plan to go to the United States for further study after achieving the bachelor's degree. But to go abroad is not my purpose," Xiao Zihang, a 16-year-old student said Tuesday at the Beijing International Education Expo 2004.

The exposition, which opened Tuesday, is the first ever international educational exhibition organized by the government.

A total of 114 overseas universities from 12 countries and regions, as well as 248 domestic educational institutions participated.

According to Xiao, who will major in mathematics at the Tianjin-based Nankai University, the abundant academic resources in the US universities is what attracts him to plan for postgraduate studies.

"But if I am admitted by an ordinary university in the United States and a first-class domestic university at the same time, I will absolutely choose the domestic one," Xiao said.

He planned to come back to China for research work.

More scholarship opportunities for postgraduate studies are also a reason why many Chinese students go overseas.

"Most of our high school graduates will choose to attend domestic universities after graduation from high school and continue their postgraduate studies abroad," said Zhang Guiqin, office director assistant of the well-known Beijing No 4 High School. She said tuition fees are a very important factor in the choice.

On the first day of the exposition, many Chinese educational institutions aimed to attract more and better overseas students.

But some of them were somewhat disappointed Tuesday for the small amounts of foreign visitors.

"An international exposition requires international exhibitors and international visitors," Zhao Xijun, representative of the Renmin University of China said Tuesday at the exposition.

"I do not see much of a foreign audience today," he said.

Zhao noted that exhibitors' interests will be weakened if the event fails to attract more overseas visitors.

Sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission and the China Scholarship Council, the exposition will be held annually in the future, organizers said.

The event attracted more than 20,000 visitors Tuesday.

In another development, the Education Forum for Asia, which opened on Monday, concluded Tuesday.

At the forum, education ministers and officials from Asian countries delivered speeches on the status of the education in their countries and held discussions on issues of common concern, including private education, scholarships and vocational education.

All of the participants agreed that educational co-operation and exchanges should be strengthened among Asian countries, where the educational level is relatively low compared to advanced countries.

Chinese Minister of Education Zhou Ji said at the forum that education in China has made remarkable achievements in the past years and the country's population is becoming better and better educated.

However, Zhou said the country still faces great challenges as the supply of good quality education in the country fails to meet the demands from the general public.

Saying that education in China is part of education in Asia, Zhou called on Asian countries to share their experiences in education.

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