Case Study: The Chinese Government Scholarship Program—the Brain Development Scheme That Illuminates a Vision Across 30 Years

  • Qiang Zha
  • Dongfang Wang


China’s organized effort of sending students to study abroad is always associated with China’s self-strengthening ambition. Between 1978 and 2015, over 4 million Chinese students went to study abroad on programs of various levels, mostly in major Western countries, among whom, approximately 20% were supported by Chinese government scholarships. Regarding such an extraordinary effort, this chapter explores: (1) what characterizes the contemporary Chinese Government Scholarship Program (CGSP); (2) what are the highlights, strengths, and attainments of the CGSP; and (3) what have been the main drawbacks and challenges of the CGSP. Methodologically, this chapter treats both the phenomena of study abroad and brain gain as a necessary equilibrium in a given society, and examines them together in a holistic picture. A leading conclusion is that the former gives rise to the latter, with both serving the national development agenda of China.



We are grateful to Professor Leiluo Cai of the Graduate School of Education, Peking University, for her assistance and direction in data collection.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Zha
    • 1
  • Dongfang Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.School of EducationTianjin Normal UniversityTianjinChina

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