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More young Chinese going abroad for studies – but more are also returning upon graduation

More young Chinese people are attending university abroad, with the United States, Australia and Britain among their top choices, a survey by a Chinese consultancy shows.

The Education International Cooperation Group’s survey, published on Saturday, showed a 17 per cent increase in the number of students aged below 18 attending universities overseas last year, compared with that in 2012.

Most of the students chose to study in the US, followed by Australia, Canada and Britain, Modern Express quoted the report as saying.

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More than 70 per cent of parents surveyed for sending their children for studies overseas said their primary purpose was for their children to “broaden their horizons”.

Their two other major considerations were because “foreign countries had better education conditions” and they hoped overseas education would help their children “increase their knowledge”, according to the report.

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About 8 per cent of the parents said the notion of sending their children abroad came to them when their offspring were in primary school, while 43 per cent said the thought occurred to them when their children were in high school.

More than half a million Chinese students went overseas to study last year – a record high – according to the Ministry of Education.

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Some 409,100 students returned to China after their studies, a 12.1 per cent increase from the previous year.

These students returned because they had difficulty landing jobs overseas and the Chinese job market was more appealing, according to the ministry.