The purpose of this paper is to closely examine the flows and selectivity of a scientific brain drain from China against the background of global talent competition.
This paper is derived from an empirical study, which randomly surveyed 451 Chinese scientists at leading global universities. Based on their biographical information, descriptive analysis and logistic regression not only demonstrates migration patterns of Chinese scientists, but also reveals their demographic profiles between 1998 and 2006.
The findings of this study show that the scientific community in China experienced increasing personnel exchange with the English academia during the observation period. Emigrant scientists from China were selected positively in terms of educational background, and the pattern seemed to turn stronger over time. By contrast, returnee scientists were selected negatively from those who studied abroad. The predominant mode of migration was both an ongoing brain drain and an emerging brain circulation, and the latter was largely pushed by domestic degree holders with overseas experience.
This empirical study enriches our understanding of international migration in the scientific community, and helps explain China's strategy in achieving rapid scientific development. Although national strategies targeting the research diaspora make a limited contribution in luring prominent scholars back home, a brain circulation can be realized by sending domestic scientists abroad for short‐period training or visiting.
Tian, F. (2013), "Skilled flows and selectivity of Chinese scientists at global leading universities between 1998 and 2006", Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 99-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTPC-01-2013-0003Download as .RIS
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