More aid for students to study abroad

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 June, 2006, 12:00am

The central government will pay for more intellectuals to study abroad in hopes of furthering its strategy of 'strengthening the country with human talent', the Ministry of Education said yesterday. It also hopes to attract more people to study on the mainland.

Vice-Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng said the country would increase its budget for scholars studying in fields deemed useful to the nation, including communications, agriculture, life sciences, energy resources, raw materials and the World Trade Organisation.

'Our goal is to select first-class graduates, send them to first-class institutes in foreign countries and learn from first-class professors,' Mr Zhang said at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the China Scholarship Council in Beijing. The council has funded study abroad for 23,115 people, including a record 7,000 last year.

The ministry says 97 per cent of government-sponsored students return to the mainland on time.

The new funding policy will favour people from western China, provided they agree to return to the underdeveloped region upon completion of their studies.

The government is also aiming to provide more scholarships to attract foreigners to study in China.

More than 141,000 foreign students studied on the mainland last year, two-thirds of them from Japan and South Korea.