More effort should be made to attract outstanding overseas talents to work in China, the Ministry of Education said Monday.
"High-level talents with overseas education and work experience will greatly strengthen China's all-round development, especially as the country is implementing its strategy of invigorating the nation through science, technology and education," Lu Yugang, director of the ministry's talent development office, told China Daily.
The ministry, with the help of other ministries, has increased its financial support for overseas talents and simplified the approval procedure to help them gain "citizen treatment" in China aiming at attracting a group of leading scholars in certain disciplines across the world and forming a group of excellent innovation organizations in China, Lu said.
The ministry has been conducting some exemplary programs to attract scholars to China, he said.
The Chunhui (Spring Bud) Program is one of the programs targeting scholars with doctoral degrees and outstanding records, he said.
Launched in 1996, the program has already funded more than 12,000 individuals and 200 groups of scholars and researchers to serve the country on short-term visits.
Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang is a beneficiary of the program.
Wan was a member of a German automobile research team that got financial support from the program in the late 1990s. He returned to China to work in 2000 and became the president of Tongji University in Shanghai in 2004.
Another of the ministry's programs -- the Changjiang Scholars Program, which was set up in 1998 in association with the Hong Kong-based Li Ka-Shing Foundation - has provided financial support to 1,308 leading scholars to devote themselves to the construction of key subjects and academic teams in 115 colleges across China.
The scholars each get a 100,000 yuan annual allowance, research funds and good working conditions provided by the universities.
The Changjiang program has increased the number of scholars to 100 a year since 2004 from 10 in the previous years, and last year began awarding 1-million yuan grants to its top 5 scholars.
More than 98 of the scholars have PhDs and 367 were of foreign nationality, though mostly ethnic Chinese, statistics showed.
Peking University has introduced famous math professor Tian Gang from Princeton University in the United States, while Tsinghua University introduced biological professor Shi Yigong from the same university.
Rao Zihe, 58, president of Nankai University in Tianjin returned to China to work in 1996 after 10 years overseas.
"I gave up my research work at Oxford University and came back to China, attracted by the promising outlook of my motherland and good offers by universities," he said.