China's job market embraces increasing returned overseas students

The spring breeze brings another job hunting season in China, as well as more job hunters freshly graduated from overseas universities.

The spring breeze brings another job hunting season in China, as well as more job hunters freshly graduated from overseas universities.

Zhu Yangjian, a Chinese student studying at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, has become a frequenter of a website of national employment service for returned overseas students under the Ministry of Education.

"I prefer to work in China. The overall salary in Japan is not much different from that in China, but the cost of living here is higher. The attractiveness of local employment is declining. Moreover, there are more intriguing jobs in China," said Zhu.

Zhu's idea reflects the majority of Chinese overseas students. According to the "2022 Blue Paper for Chinese Overseas Students Returning to China for Employment" released by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, the number of students returning to China has significantly grown since 2012, with about 3.4 million people having returned, accounting for more than 80 percent of the people returning from studying abroad.

According to the "2023 Report on Chinese Students Overseas Study" released by New Oriental, a study abroad service agency, direct employment or entrepreneurship after graduation in 2023 has become the mainstream for those who have studied abroad, accounting for 65 percent in total.

"More than half of the Chinese students around me have planned to return to China to work. We believe that our international thinking and vision can give us a more competitive edge in the job market," said Zhao Zhijin, who is studying at Musashi University in Japan.

In the "2023 Overseas Study Talent Employment Development Report" jointly released by Liepin, a service company focusing on job hunting, and the China World Youth Summit, 80.85 percent of corporate HR believe that under the same conditions, study abroad experience will be a plus for candidates.

Huo Jiali, who studied at Delaware Valley University in the United States, returned to her hometown of Jinzhong City, north China's Shanxi Province, years ago. She dedicated the knowledge she gained during her study abroad to agriculture work at a local company.

Huo said China's favorable policy ensures returning students have a good working environment and treatment.

In the past decade, China has introduced a series of policy measures from the central to local levels to provide convenience and create conditions for returning overseas students.

In 2015, China issued the "Notice on Facilitating the Entrepreneurship of Returned Overseas Students," which included overseas returnees in the support range of national university graduate employment and entrepreneurship.

In 2016, the "Notice on Implementing Entrepreneurship Guarantee Loan to Support Entrepreneurship and Employment" was issued, which included returned overseas students in the scope of entrepreneurship guarantee loan support.

"In order to promote the employment of overseas students, we have been cooperating with various related service units, improved service mechanisms, and provided convenience for entrepreneurship and employment, thereby enhancing their sense of belonging, achievement, and gain," said Chen Xijie, deputy director of the Shanxi provincial service center for overseas students and experts.

According to data released by China's Ministry of Education, from 1978 to 2019, 6.56 million people studied abroad. During this period, 4.23 million people chose to return to China after completing their studies, accounting for 86.28 percent of the group that completed their studies.

The proportion of the number of people returning from studying abroad to the number of people going abroad has risen from 38.2 percent in 2000 to 64.5 percent in 2019.

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