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Four in 10 top students 'go abroad and don't return'

Survey findings underscore severity of China's brain drain problem

WILL THEY STAY?: Students in Hefei celebrating after completing their college entrance exams in June. Findings from a new survey attest to China's brain drain problem. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - FOUR in 10 top scorers at college entrance exams in China went abroad to study and most of them did not return, according to a new survey.

The findings attest to China's severe brain drain problem, which has raised fears that there may not be enough talent around to manage the world's fourth-largest economy.

The survey by the China Alumni Association tracked 130 top scorers at college entrance exams from 1977 to 1998.

Forty per cent of the respondents said they chose to go abroad for their studies and most of them settled down in foreign countries after graduation.

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