How to solve the brain drain problem existing in universities in China has been a hot topic as our economy develops steadily. The following excerpt offers some opinions on this issue. Read the excerpt carefully and write your response in about 300 words, in which you should:
1. summarize briefly the author’s opinion;
2. give your comment.
Marks will be awarded for content relevance, content sufficiency, organization and language quality. Failure to follow the above instructions may result in a loss of marks.
Every country sends out students. What makes China different is that most of these bright minds have stayed away. Only a third have come back, according to the Ministry of Education; fewer by some counts. A study this year by a scholar at America’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education found that 85% of those who gained their doctorate in America in 2006 were still there in 2011.
To lure experts to Chinese universities, the government has launched a series of schemes since the mid-1990s. These have offered some combination of a one-off bonus of up to 1m yuan ($160 ,000), promotion, an assured salary and a housing allowance or even a free apartment. Some of the best universities have built homes for academics to rent or buy at a discount. All are promised top-notch facilities. Many campuses, which were once spartan, now have swanky buildings. The programmes have also targeted non-Chinese. A “foreign expert thousand-talent scheme”, launched in 2011, has enticed around 200 people. Spending on universities has shot up, too: six fold in 2001-2011. The results have been striking. In 2005-2012 published research articles from higher-education institutions rose by 54%; patents granted went up eightfold.
But most universities still have far to go. Only two Chinese institutions number in the top 100 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University includes only 32 institutions from mainland China among the world’s 500 best. The government frets about the failure of a Chinese scholar ever to win a Nobel Prize in science.
Pulling some star scholars back from abroad will not be enough to turn China into an academic giant. Many of those who return do so on a part-time basis. According to David Zweig of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, nearly 75% of Chinese nationals who were lured by a “thousand-talent programme” launched in 2008 did not give up tenure elsewhere. Such schemes have often bought reputation rather than better research. They typically target full professors whose more productive, innovative years may already be behind them. (They also favour experts in science, technology and management.)
Chinese universities have great difficulty fostering talent at home. The premium on foreign experience in China has created perverse incentives, says Cao Cong of Nottingham University in Britain. It sends the message to today’s best and brightest that they should still spend their most productive years abroad. More than 300,000 students leave each year.
Today the signs are more encouraging. Some universities are changing the way they recruit and hence finding it easier to attract staff from abroad. At Peking University departments now hire and promote using international evaluation-methods. They advertise jobs and academics apply for promotion and are rewarded according to their achievements.
Write your response on ANSWER SHEET FOUR.
How to Solve the Brain Drain Problem
To solve the brain drain problem, especially those with an overseas academic experience, China has been taking many measures which range over one-off bonus, promotion, an assured salary and a housing allowance or even a free apartment to attract Chinese professors who work abroad and those foreign professors. This encouragement brings surprising results in boosting the overall academic achievements among universities. However, since Chinese universities notoriously rank low on World University Rankings, there is still a long way to go including adjusting executive measures to cater to these talents.
Fine porcelain, Chinese-landscape scrolls and calligraphy adorn the office of Shi Yigong. Little about his ornamentation hints at Mr. Shi’s 18 years’ professorship at Princeton University in America as his native country started to prosper. In 2008, at the age of 41, he returned to his homeland only to become one of the most famous Chinese scholars to do so.