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Brain Drain of China

Brain Drain has been a very severe problem for China. 70% of Chinese overseas students never come back to China. Since 1978, only 275,000 students out of 1,060,000 overseas Chinese students returned home. In 2006, there are 60,000 Chinese students studying in the UK, which is a 20% increase (Watts). Given how much talent China needs to support the development of the country, and how much money China has spent on these talent, for example, their primary school education, China needs to worker harder to attract them back home.

Why do many overseas Chinese talents not return home? There are various reasons to this. Firstly, the standard of living in China may not be as high (Watts). Secondly, China’s political situation may not be as stable and democratic (Zhang). Thirdly, employment opportunities in China may not be as attractive (Chow). Lastly, some believe that China’s education system and work environment does not offer as many future opportunities to their children (Chow).

What has China been doing in response? Firstly, China has been trying to improve the quality and prestige of their schools to attract more talents (Chow). Secondly, China has been trying to raise the average salaries in the country to allow local companies compete better with foreign companies for talent. Thirdly, China is working hard improving the standard of living in the country and for these special talents (Watts). Through “Thousand Talent Program”, China hopes to attract around 2000 talents to China within the next five to ten years (Itibia Technologies). Each talent will not only receive salaries from their respective employers, but also receive 1 million RMB from the Chinese government (Qiu).

If China can continue to be aggressive with recruiting talent and improving its overall economy and standard of living, China will be able to slowly solve its severe brain drain problem.

Sources Cited:

Liang, Saiyu. “China steps up effort to reverse ‘brain drain’”. Boston.com, 24 September, 2010. Web. 15 May 2011.

LaFraniere, Sharon. “Uneasy Engagement – After Brain Drain, China is Luring Some Scientists Home”. NYTimes, 6 January, 2010. Web. 15 May 2011.

Chow, Jonathan. “China’s brain drain”. Shanghaiist, 28 July, 2009. Web. 15 May 2011.

Watts, Jonathan. “China fears brain drain as its overseas students stay put”. The Guardian, 2 June 2007. Web. 15 May 2011.

Zhang, James. Interview, 20 May 2011.

Qiu, Jane. “China targets top talent from overseas”. Nature Nesws, 28 Jan 2009. Web. 15 May 2011.

“President of Itibia Technologies, Dr. Jiming Liu, has been selected to the 2009 China ‘Thousand Talent Program’”. Itibia Technologies, 2009. Web. 15 May 2011.

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