During 40 years of reform, generations of young people have gone abroad and ventured the globe to enrich their knowledge and growth. Under the advocacy of policies supporting studying abroad, encouraging returns to China, and travel based on free will, China’s study abroad has developed rapidly. It has also led to the development of trained of high-tech talents to accelerate the country’s modernization. General Secretary Xi Jinping said at the “100th Anniversary of the Founding of the European and American Alumni Association” that “the practice has proved that the vast number of overseas students are worthy of the valuable wealth of the party and the people and are worthy of the living force for realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
According to the data of the Ministry of Education, since the reform promoting globalism there have been a total of 5,194,900 students studying abroad, of which more than 60% of the overseas students have chosen to return to China after completing their studies. In 2017, the number of returning students reached 480,900. Returnees who have a global vision and high-tech talents are active in all areas of China’s rapid economic growth.
The “2018 China Returnees Employment and Entrepreneurship Survey Report” jointly published by CCG and Zhilian Recruitment (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”) has shown a growing trend in pursuance of foreign education. In parallel to international college attendance, the number of high school students is also increasing. The proportion Chinese group is currently the highest among all countries with the proportion of high school students studying abroad is 29.79%. Which is 9 percentage points higher than the 2017 survey results.
When it comes to the significance of studying abroad, rich experiences have become the main reason for choosing to study abroad. The United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea are currently the main choice of countries for studying abroad with economics and business studies as the most popular subjects. The survey also showed that the return on study abroad reached the expected value. The proportion of returnees with overseas work experience increased, and the proportion of employment in the financial industry surpassed the information technology service industry for first place.
In terms of employment and entrepreneurship, the industries that overseas students have returned to after returning to China are widely distributed in finance, software and information technology services, manufacturing and other fields, among which financial industry employees account for 14%, software, information technology services at 13%, manufacturing accounting for 12%, and education accounting for 11%. In addition, 5% of returned overseas students choose to start a business with information transmission, software and information technology services, wholesale/retail, and education as the main areas of entrepreneurship. The report also shows that up to 61% of the returnees choose to return to their hometown. However, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong present advantages of fast economic development, high degree of internationalization, multiculturalism, and inclusiveness which has led to them being the primary target city for employment and entrepreneurship of returnees while the northeast, central, and western regions are facing serious brain drain problems.
The report also showed that nearly 67% of overseas students are choosing to return to China in order to facilitate family reunion with their families and friends. Whole more than 40% of overseas students return to China because of the good trend of domestic economic development. In recent years, we have seen what is often referred to as the “talent wars” in major cities in China as the returnees have become the focus of the cities. Compared with domestic practitioners, overseas returnees have certain advantages in linguistics, overseas market familiarity, cross-cultural communication ability, innovation and critical thinking ability, and contribute a lot to the development of economic, trade and cultural innovation. They are quality talent.
The report also pointed out that although 95% of overseas returnees can find jobs within half a year after returning to China, some also face some difficulties in employment and entrepreneurship. In 2017, the contradiction between income and expectation of returnees has further intensified. 80% of returnees believe that income levels are lower or lower than personal expectations, and the prospects for unclear development and limited promotion of positions have made it difficult for returnees to remain stable for a long time. In addition, the high cost of entrepreneurial operations, the lack of relevant entrepreneurial services, and the difficulty of transforming technological achievements are also obstacles that overseas scholars need to clear on the road to returning to China. Entrepreneurs’ unclear understanding of the domestic market environment is also an important cause of entrepreneurial difficulties and will be a trend to watch for in upcoming years.
(Source: People Author: Tao steady)
Songzi Li/ Editing Manager
Translation by Philip Park