China Talent Outflow Highest in the World, People’s Daily Says

China is losing top-notch talent at the highest rate in the world as students who seek degrees abroad opt to remain overseas, the official People’s Daily newspaper reported today.

An average of 87 percent of students in science and engineering stay overseas, the newspaper said, citing an official from a government working group on talent whom it didn’t identify. China needs to compete better for human talent, the report cited the official as saying.

Young Chinese have flocked to overseas schools in search of degrees. The country’s policy of limiting many couples to one child and its growing wealth mean middle-class families can afford U.S. tuition that far exceeds the costs of Chinese universities.

Chinese citizens now account for the largest proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, the Institute of International Education said in a November report. Chinese enrollments at U.S. universities in the 2011-2012 academic year increased by 23 percent, it said.

The country lacks high-level innovative and entrepreneurial talent, the People’s Daily cited the official as saying. Investment is not sufficient and institutional obstacles have not been eliminated, it said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Henry Sanderson in Beijing at hsanderson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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