China opens student door a little wider

January 8, 1999

The China Scholarship Council is improving arrangements for Chinese students and scholars to study overseas and for foreign students to study in China.

More than 1,709 students and scholars have been selected for overseas study in 1999 under a new method that seeks to "eliminate nepotism", and give "more freedom to leave and return".

A committee of senior specialists is helping the council evaluate the quality of applicants.

Social disparities across the country mean the council will still prioritise key state development programmes and projects in remote areas when selecting candidates for overseas study.

The council's secretary-general, Cao Guoxing, said it will increase efforts to promote co-operation between China's prestigious universities and their foreign counterparts to help train more higher-level specialised personnel.

China has sent more than 200,000 students and scholars to more than 100 countries and regions since it implemented its 1978 reform and open policies. Some 90,000 students have returned home.

Approximately 50,000 were government-funded, about 80,000 sponsored by their work units and the others were self-funded.

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