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Study abroad, then and now(2)

2014-09-19 14:01 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e


After his study in the University of Wisconsin, Liu decided to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before coming home.

"There is no place like home," he said.

According to official statistics, nearly 290 academics with the Chinese Academy of Sciences had learning experiences in the U.S., and more than 7 percent of the academics with the Chinese Academy of Engineering had studied in the U.S., including Liu.

While Liu and other returnees have made achievements in narrowing the scientific gap between a developing China and the developed world, many other Chinese students, either government-funded or self-supported, choose to stay abroad.

According to the blue paper on China's overseas study released in 2012, among the 2.2 million students studying abroad from 1978 to 2011, only 817,000 of them, or 36.5 percent, returned.

Yang Di, who began work at ExxonMobil oil in the U.S. after graduating from the MIT in 2009, said the most attractive point of the U.S. is encouraged innovation.

The living conditions in China and the U.S. have greatly narrowed. It was the research and development capacity of the company that attracted him most, he said.

"Although China has notable oil giants, they still have a long way to go to cultivate technical innovation," he said, adding there are nearly 1,000 oil companies in the U.S. with deep-rooted innovation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping last month urged authorities to work out concrete policies for innovation-driven development and to implement a number of major national programs on science and technology.

"Innovation should be the driving force behind the developmental transition and economic restructuring," Xi said during a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs in Beijing.

Apart from research environment differences, family factors are another reason they stay.

China is providing more golden opportunities for returnees compared with many developed countries, where economic turmoil has had a big impact in recent years. "But many families have decided to send the husbands back, leaving wives and children abroad," said Chao Xing, mother of a two-year-old.

She said wives and children world rather stay in developed nations for cleaner air, better education and safer food for the children, taken China's smog and a series of food safety scandals into consideration.

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