Opinion / From the Press

Attract more students with better education

By Li Yang (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2014-12-01 11:26

China should reform its education system to stop the brain drain, and attract more foreign students to study not only culture and language in China, but also techniques and sciences, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

A recent survey shows 80 percent rich Chinese plan to send their children to study abroad. Some people doubt the accuracy of the survey method. Some feel angry that the rich people do not like their own motherland. And some feel happy because the competition for good schools will be fairer after the rich children leave China.

In fact, going abroad to study is a personal option, and has no relations with patriotism. Everybody has the rights to pursue better education and better life.

It may be true that if the rich children go abroad, the children from poor families will have more chances. But it is also a serious brain drain for China, and will affect social and economic development in the long-run.

Chinese education authority should reflect the reasons why such an important group of people prefer foreign schools. China's education is highly dependent on college entrance examination, and fails to exploit the young people's creativity, independence and critical thinking.

It is noteworthy that nearly a million high school graduates give up taking part in the college entrance examination, thinking that college education is of low value, and the four years on campus would be better spent doing some work or learning some skills.

A more worrisome phenomenon is that the rich people lack the interest, or confidence, in pushing the authority to reform the lackluster education system at home.

About 400,000 Chinese students go abroad to study, taking away with them at least 80 billion yuan ($13 billion). If the money Chinese government spends subsidizing their education at home is counted, it would be a bigger loss on the economy.

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