BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- A total of 272,900 Chinese students returned home after finishing their education abroad in 2012, up 46.6 percent from 2011, said a senior human resources official on Thursday.
Since China's reform and opening up began in 1978, 1.09 million Chinese who studied abroad have returned home, said Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, at a meeting.
In recent years, there has been a greater tendency for such Chinese overseas students to return after finishing their studies. More than 800,000 have returned in the last five years, with the annual number growing by an average rate of 36 percent each year, Yin said.
"China will further establish a sound system for the returnees, including visa, residence, medical care, insurance and housing," the minister vowed.
The Chinese government launched a drive to recruit experts from abroad in 2008, offering favorable policies in terms of taxation, insurance, housing, settlement for spouses and children, career development, research projects and government awards.
As of last year, more than 1,100 top-level experts have been recruited to work in China under the program, according to Yin.