Home>Top Issues

【China Daily】Job prospects make homeland attractive

Wednesday,Aug 29, 2018

As work opportunities improve, more are choosing to return from studies to begin their working lives

The number of Chinese students returning from abroad has grown by leaps and bounds, due to better job prospects at home and tightening work and migration policies overseas, according to a new report.

Last year, 608,400 students from China went abroad while 480,900 returned, according to the Ministry of Education. Nearly 80 percent of students chose to return to China after completing overseas studies last year, up from 30 percent in 2007 and around 5 percent in 1987.


The Report on Employment and Entrepreneurship of Chinese Returnees, based on a survey of 2,190 overseas returnees in July, was jointly released on Aug 19 by the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), a Beijing think tank, and recruitment website Zhaopin.

Forty percent of respondents said they chose to return because of more job opportunities in China, while 27 percent feared that employment and migration regulations abroad might hinder their career development, the report said.

Overseas-educated Chinese still prefer to work in China’s first-tier cities after returning home. About 20 percent of respondents returning from overseas chose to work in Beijing, followed by Guangdong province (including Guangzhou and Shenzhen) and Shanghai, at 14.6 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Li Qing, a researcher for the think tank in charge of compiling the report, says favorable policies for overseas-educated students played a big part in the influx of foreign-educated graduates to first-tier cities.

Benefits include special project incubators, funds, tax cuts and easier access to permanent residence, Li says.

Although second-tier cities have rolled out a slate of favorable policies to attract talent, including housing subsidies, policies in these urban areas tend to favor domestic college graduates over overseas returnees.

Zhang Xiaobing, who received an MBA from the University of Toronto in 2016, set up a human resources company in Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park.

"I came back to start a business in Beijing because I love the atmosphere and I see the opportunities for doing business here," Zhang says. "The government has offered me great help in starting my business, including free rent, tax breaks and funds."

The report found that although 40 percent of foreign-educated students found their first job within one month and nearly 95 percent within half a year, 80 percent earned less than they expected.

Li Qiang, marketing director of Zhaopin, says the surprise many expressed over their comparatively low salaries highlights a large expectation gap among returning students, who Li says were often overconfident and lacked knowledge about the best channels to find work, and what skills employers were looking for.

When they come back to start their job hunts, they find themselves competing with those who already have some work experience, Li says.

"You can’t weigh the pros and cons in direct financial terms, because overseas graduates have other advantages such as enhanced personal development and a broader vision."


From China Daily,2018-8-26

  • Jorge Heine: A‘make or break’ G20 summit in Buenos Aires

    As the world economy tatters, expectations are that some kind of truce in the trade war between the planet’s two largest economies will be declared.

  • Martin Jacques: Message to Washington: US does not rule the world

    How did 46 years of relative stability and harmony in US-China relations suddenly nose-dive in this manner? The US establishment believed for many decades that China would never pose a serious economic challenge to the US, that it would accept US global leadership, and that ultimately China would become a Western-style country in America’s own image.

  • CCG releases new report Understanding the US-China Trade War: Analysis and CCG Recommendations

    Based on CCG’s long-term ongoing research and investigations through visits to the US, the report,titled with Understanding the US-China trade War: Analysis and CCG Recommendations, presents an in-depth, systematic appraisal of Sino-US economic relations. It draws on solid empirical research and data to dispel misunderstandings surrounding the current dispute and puts forward recommendations to resolve current tensions and promote the healthy development of Sino-US relations.

  • Gao Zhikai: Martyr’s Day, a day of gratitude and re-dedication

    In China today, the martyrs to whom we as a nation renew our gratitude and respect include all those who sacrificed their lives for China since the First Opium War in 1840, including those who died in China’s struggle for national independence, against foreign aggression, occupation and threats, as well as those who died in peacetime for a better China.

  • China has become world’s largest source of overseas students

    In 2015, a total of 1.26 million Chinese students studied abroad, accounting for about 25 percent of all international students worldwide. According to an annual report by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), China has become the single largest source of overseas students.