Yu Minhong, founder and CEO of the New Oriental Education and Technology Group and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's National Committee, estimates that the number of Chinese studying abroad each year will peak at between 700,000 to 800,000.
|Yu Minhong answers questions in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. HE HAI'ER/CHINA DAILY|
"Considering China's economic development and rising household incomes, the annual number (of Chinese studying abroad) will come to a head within five years. Then it will fluctuate in line with the annual birthrate and the economy," he said.
According to Education Ministry statistics, 544,500 Chinese studied abroad last year, more than triple the 179,800 that sought out education overseas in 2008.
He added that more than 80 percent of those who pursue education overseas return to China after completing their studies and contribute to the nation's economy.
"From a long-term perspective, it is a positive thing," he said. "China's policies will continue to support overseas study and the Chinese people are aware that having more students abroad can have a positive effect on the country's long-term development."
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