China is losing top-notch talent at the highest rate in the world as students who seek degrees abroad opt to remain overseas, the official People's Daily reported yesterday.
An average of 87 per cent of students in science and engineering stay overseas, the newspaper said, citing an official from a government working group on talent. China needs to compete better for human talent, the report cited the official as saying.
Young Chinese have flocked to overseas schools in search of degrees. The country's policy of limiting many couples to one child and its growing wealth mean middle-class families can afford tuition in the United States and other countries such as Britain and Australia that far exceeds the costs of Chinese universities.
Chinese citizens now account for the largest proportion of foreign students at American universities, the Institute of International Education said in a November report.
Chinese enrolments at US universities in the 2011-2012 academic year increased by 23 per cent, it said.
The country lacks high-level innovative and entrepreneurial talent, the People's Daily cited the official as saying. Investment is not sufficient and institutional obstacles have not been eliminated, it said.