Stu­dents come home for fam­i­lies

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By FAN FEIFEI

More over­seas stu­dents with doctoral de­grees are re­turn­ing home to find jobs so they can be with their fam­i­lies again, re­search shows.

The Over­seas Re­turnees’ De­vel­op­ment Re­port 2013 es­ti­mated that 90.9 per­cent of peo­ple study­ing abroad had cho­sen to head back to China be­cause of their par­ents.

Most were from the post1980 or post-1990 gen­er­a­tion and have no sib­lings, it said.

Wang Yue is a prime ex­am­ple. The 31-year-old re­cently com­pleted a PhD in adolescent ed­u­ca­tion at My­ongji Univer­sity in South Korea.

“I’m from a sin­gle-par­ent fam­ily. My mother didn’t adapt to the life in South Korea and my boyfriend lives in China,” she said.

She is now look­ing for work as a re­searcher in Bei­jing, al­though she con­ceded the salaries on of­fer in China’s first-tier cities are far from her ex­pec­ta­tions, a fact that has put some of her peers off re­turn­ing.

“The job mar­ket in China is very tough,” she said, ex­plain­ing that at job in­ter­views she is of­ten one of many can­di­dates with sim­i­lar back­grounds.

Cheng Jingjing, who spent four years get­ting a PhD in me­chan­i­cal engineering at the Univer­sity of Sh­effield, also re­turned home to care for her par­ents. She also has no brothers or sis­ters.

How­ever, she also has another rea­son for mov­ing back: boun­ti­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“In terms of tech­nol­ogy, man­u­fac­tur­ing is shift­ing from Western coun­tries to China, so the in­dus­try needs a lot of peo­ple,” she said.

Roughly 78 per­cent of over­seas stu­dents are con­fi­dent of of peo­ple study­ing abroad have cho­sen to head back to China be­cause of their par­ents the ca­reer prospects in China, ac­cord­ing to the 2013 re­turnees re­port, pro­duced by the Center for China and Glob­al­iza­tion and the So­cial Sciences Aca­demic Press.

Li Mei, a project di­rec­tor at the Chi­nese Ser­vice Center for Schol­arly Ex­change, said many Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties hope to re­cruit high-level tal­ent with an over­seas doc­tor­ate or a post doc­tor­ate, but com­pa­nies pay more at­ten­tion to em­ploy­ees’ work­ing abil­ity, not only their ed­u­ca­tional back­ground.

“In re­cent years, more over­seas grad­u­ates with doctoral de­grees have been em­ployed by us and hir­ing tal­ents with an over­seas de­gree will be a trend in the fu­ture,” Liu Jin­jin, deputy di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources at So­cial Sciences Aca­demic Press, said at a re­cent job fair for over­seas re­turnees in Bei­jing.

“We pre­fer to hire tal­ents with PhDs be­cause we put more em­pha­sis on aca­demic re­search, hop­ing ap­pli­cants will have a re­lated re­search back­ground,” she said.

“I’ve re­ceived hun­dreds of ap­pli­ca­tions in just a few hours. About 10 per­cent of job seek­ers have an over­seas PhD and most of the rest hold mas­ter’s de­grees.”

Liu said most ap­pli­cants with a one-year mater’s de­gree grad­u­ated from uni­ver­si­ties in Bri­tain and are more prac­tice-ori­ented, but “we like re­search-ori­ented post­grad­u­ates, mean­ing they have done some aca­demic re­search dur­ing the study”.

MAO YANZHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Over­seas re­turnees at­tend a job fair or­ga­nized by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion in Bei­jing on Nov 16.

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