[photopress:Cao_Guoxing_students_return.jpg,full,alignright]For the second time China is experiencing an overseas study boom. You cannot be too precise about the timing but work on the basis that the first overseas study boom occurred in 1978 just as China had started opening up.
The second boom started last year when the government took the lead in placing China as an innovation-oriented country.
The figures are compelling. According to the Guangzhou Daily, Cao Guoxing, head of the International Department under the Ministry of Education and seen here, recently said that from 1978 to 2000, about 1.07 million Chinese people went abroad to study. The first wave.
In 2006 a total of 134,000 Chinese people went abroad. Among them, the number of self-funded students, or students who pay their own expenses, increased by 13.4%, while the number of students sent abroad to study by the state or by their work units increased by 8.8%.
In 2006, about 42,000 students returned after finishing their study, which was a growth of 21.3% compared with 2005.
The number of self-funded students increased by 22.9% while the number of government-sponsored students who returned after study increased by 15.5%.
Cao Guoxing said these figures show a new overseas study boom has taken place in China. Not just government-sponsored students, but also self-funded students who have played an important role.