Synonyms returning from studying abroad generally refer to returnees (persons who have studied abroad and returned to work in the country)


In 1999, they were on a talk show on Phoenix Satellite TV. When the host interviewed Wang Huiyao, he mentioned the term "returnees", saying that "returnees" meant returning from "overseas".

In 2002, in the "Five-Year Achievement ‘100 Words’" column of People’s Daily Online, the term “returnees” had a comprehensive explanation. People's Daily Online explained the meaning of returnees: Returnees are relative to local talents who study and work in China, and refer to returnees who have overseas study and work experience. The term overseas returnees has increasingly become a hot vocabulary in China's political and economic life.

The emergence of the term "returnees" can be traced back to the late 1990s. Chinese students studying abroad have set off a new wave of returning home. The main reason can be attributed to the general downturn in the global economy. Under the circumstances, China's economy is thriving, maintaining a growth rate of 7% for several consecutive years. Especially in the context of China's entry into the WTO and its successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, people are generally optimistic about China's economic situation in the next few years. Moreover, China’s political stability, the gradual improvement of the legal system, and the further improvement of the investment environment, coupled with a market of 1.3 billion people, are extremely attractive to the world. International companies represented by multinational companies have entered the Chinese market one after another, and Chinese overseas students who have advanced Western technology, Western venture capital, Western advanced business concepts, rich Chinese-Western communication experience and interpersonal resources have naturally become pioneers. .

"Returnees" not only brought advanced management and technology, but also market and ideas. They are playing an increasingly important role in China's modernization drive. People's Daily Online even asserted: "The vast majority of returnees are the elites of the Chinese nation." China once held a seminar on "The Mission of Studying Abroad and Development Opportunities in the New Era". At the meeting, experts and scholars agreed that, for more than a century, The Chinese study abroad movement is magnificent and spectacular. International students have brought a more rational and open mind to China and become an important force in promoting China's progress, accelerating the pace of China's integration into international civilization.

When the Chinese began to compare the "overseas returnees" to the "returnees" in vivid language, it even predicted that a new era had arrived. China has implemented reforms and opening up. After a whole generation of people have accumulated knowledge and wealth with wisdom and perseverance, China has finally gained a gratifying harvest in the collective return of the "returnees".

The return of overseas people is not a phenomenon unique to China. It can be said that it is the only way for all developing societies to reinvent themselves and achieve their own leap. In the global tide of overseas study with the destination of modern European and American advanced societies, there will be an outflow, and there will be a return. Those who flowed out were talent blanks, and those who returned were formed professionals. Although cost loss is inevitable, the comparison of social gains and losses is clear at a glance.

"Returnees" has become a fashionable topic in China. As a social gathering of successful people, the "returnees" have landed in an all-round way and penetrated into all aspects of social life. They either start their own businesses and lead the trend of the times; or securely hold high-level management positions in famous foreign companies and enjoy the "golden collar" fame and fortune; or enter government agencies and become the target of selection by the new generation of leadership collectives. In a society where the market is fully dominated and the economy is globally integrated, the "returnees" who have a broader international vision and richer life experience will undoubtedly gain advantages for the times and the future. In a sense, this is also their return in life for more than ten years of hard work overseas.

History of Development

The first Chinese student to study abroad was the modern reformist Mr. Rong Wing. In the beginning of 1847 (the 27th year of Daoguang), he went to the United States to study. Entered Yale University and graduated with honors in 1854 (fourth year of Xianfeng), becoming the first Chinese student to graduate from an American university. Under his impetus, the upsurge of studying abroad has since opened a new page.

At the beginning of 1868, Rong Hong proposed his education plan to the Qing Dynasty: select young people to study abroad, first experiment with 120 people, send 30 people every year, 4 years to complete; limited to boys aged 12-15, study The term is 15 years; set up an international student office in the United States, set up supervisors and deputy supervisors to manage the study and life of international students; set aside a certain amount of funds from customs income as the expenses of international students.

This "plan" was supported by Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang, and was approved by the Qing government in 1870. In 1871, Rong Wing began enrolling students in Shanghai, and was selected to send a young man to a preparatory school in Shanghai to learn English. At that time, people thought that the good or bad for studying abroad was unpredictable. All the students studying abroad were the children of ordinary people, and there were no children of royal bureaucrats.

On August 11, 1872 (July 8th in the eleventh year of Tongzhi, Qing Dynasty) Chen Lanbin and Rong Hong led the first batch of students, including Liang Guoyan and Zhan Tianyou, to the United States. After that, 30 people were dispatched every year, and by 1875, 120 overseas students were dispatched. The first batch of 30 international students was supervised by Chen Lanbin and Rong Hong was the deputy supervisor.

This group of teenagers, aged between nine and fifteen, embarked in Shanghai and set off at the port of destination in San Francisco. From 1872 to 1875, the Qing Dynasty sent four groups of 120 official-funded overseas students to travel across the oceans and set foot on American soil.

Many of them have entered Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other famous American universities. In the archives of these universities, their registration cards, photos and resumes, and even the souvenir books they gave to their classmates are still kept.


Professor WILLIAMLYONPHELPS, who later taught at Yale University. In 1939, Oxford University Press published his autobiography. In the book, one of the chapters was titled "Chinese Classmates". He wrote in the book: "Looking back at my high school days in Hartford, it was strange to find that the closest friends in my memory were all children from China. They have a charming oriental temperament and have The ability to accept new things like a genius."

In September and October of 1881 (the seventh year of Guangxu), they were all called back to the country, dressed in suits, and were hired by Qing government officials to pick them up. His wheelbarrow, under the eyes of everyone, traveled from north to south on the Bund, becoming the earliest "returnee school" in modern China. Starting from Shanghai and returning to the motherland via Shanghai, it seems that they are destined to have a deep bond with Shanghai.

At the beginning of the founding of New China, the central government also attached great importance to the work of studying abroad, and immediately sent a new group of young students to the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries to study modern science and technology. Study abroad for the public. This group of students who stayed in the Soviet Union (Eastern Europe) returned to China one after another before the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. At first they were distributed in the fields of industry, national defense, and science and technology, and gradually became intermediate officials ahead of their contemporaries. After the Cultural Revolution and in the 1980s and 1990s, these "returnees" reached the peak of state power, including Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Li Lanqing, Wei Jianxing, Zou Jiahua, Liu Huaqing, Cao Gangchuan, and others.

The contribution of international students to the education, science and culture of New China is also very great. The Chinese Academy of Sciences was established in 1950. In 1955, there were 172 members of the first academic department, of which 158 (excluding the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences) were returned scholars, accounting for 92%. The Chinese Academy of Engineering was established in 1994, with 96 academicians in the first batch and 46 experts studying abroad, accounting for 48%. International students have played an important role in almost all areas of the construction of New China, such as two bombs and one satellite, aerospace technology, medical technology and other fields.

In addition to the above-mentioned scientific, educational and cultural fields, the establishment of the new China’s modern medical and health system is also closely related to international students. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, there are mainly three types of talents supporting the national medical and health system: one is medical experts who have returned from studying abroad like Lin Qiaozhi; Many people have directly or indirectly received education and guidance from foreign experts), one type is foreign experts like Ma Haide who come to China to work. Generally speaking, after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially in the early days, foreign experts and returned students have played a very important role in China’s medical and health front.

The golden idea of ​​the first returnee

Rong Hong was the first returnee and the birth nurse for these young children to go abroad. He also contributed to the development of modern Shanghai. Many golden ideas. Rong Hong, whose name is Dameng, and whose name is Chunfu, was born in Xiangshan, Guangdong (now Zhongshan), born in 1828 (the eighth year of Daoguang), and was taken by the American missionary Brown from Macau to study in the United States in 1847. He graduated in 1854 (fourth year of Xianfeng) At Yale University, he returned to China in November of the same year. He was named a "returner" because it was only him and Huang Kuan who had returned from studying abroad at that time. Huang Kuan, Zi Chuoqing, a hometown with Rong Hong, was also taken by Brown to the United States. Two years later, he transferred to the Edinburgh Medical University to study. Hui Ai Hospital, later the director of the Hong Kong National Hospital, was a well-known surgical expert who died in 1878. It's hard to call them a "pai" because they are just two people, so they are named "returnees".

After studying abroad, Rong Hong hoped that the weak and backward motherland could keep up with the progress of the world as soon as possible, so he repeatedly lobbied Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, Ding Richang, Zhang Zhidong, Liu Kunyi Many great ideas came out among the governors and ministers, who held great powers and had a strong desire to reform, which had a great impact on the modernization of China and the development of Shanghai.

In 1863, he took "building a machine factory" as the "most beneficial and most important cause" in China, and spoke to Zeng Guofan, the then governor of Liangjiang. Therefore, Zeng Guofan recommended that he be invited to the United States to purchase the latest machinery and equipment for the Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau under construction, making the Bureau the largest military enterprise with the latest facilities in modern China, and China's modern industry started from this.

In 1868, he suggested to Ding Richang, governor of Jiangsu, to set up a joint venture steamship company to gradually recover the shipping rights controlled by foreign capital. As a result, there was a plan to set up a steamship China Merchants Bureau. On January 17, 1873, the largest civil shipping company in modern China was finally born.

It was this time when Ding Richang presented to Ding Richang, he formally proposed to select young children to study abroad, with the intention of using returned overseas students as the backbone to introduce western technology and western products in a planned way to develop stronger. With the support of Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang, this "the founding act of China, something that has never happened in the past and the present."

Introducing the latest equipment and technology to develop production, adopting the latest scientific knowledge and system reform education to train talents is always Rong Wing's most concern. To this end, he once again proposed to Liu Kunyi, governor of Liangjiang, to set up a craft school next to Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau to train technical backbones; he also proposed to Zhang Zhidong, governor of Huguang, to set up a women's school. Therefore, in 1898, the School of Technology (later the Military Academy) was established, and women's studies in Shanghai, Hankou and other places prospered.

Shanghai "returnees" who sacrificed their lives for the country

At that time, the Chinese society was still in a bad mood. They traveled across the oceans to foreign countries. The scheduled 15-year long time limit was naturally regarded as a daunting journey. Parents also need to fill in a "recognition letter", such as ominous sentences such as "If there is disease, life and death will be in peace" and so on, it even stops the fathers and grandparents. Therefore, most of the 120 young children were recruited from coastal ports. Guangdong is close to Hong Kong and Macau, and it was the first to open up. Naturally, the number of young children studying abroad is the most, with 84 people, occupying an absolute advantage; Shanghai also has 17 people, ranking second.

It is these Shanghainese and "new Shanghainese" children studying in the United States who formed the earliest returnees in Shanghai and contributed their youth and even their lives to the development of modern society in China and Shanghai. The first chapter of this patriotic tragic and majestic piece of music was composed of four victims in the Sino-French war. Among them was "New Shanghainese" Huang Jiliang.

In November 1881, 16 young children studying in the United States including Huang Jiliang were assigned to the Fuzhou Shipping Academy and entered the eighth driving class. After graduating in July of the following year, he was transferred to the Fujian Navy's flagship Yangwu as a trainee officer. In July and August of 1884, the French fleet provoked at the mouth of the Minjiang River and moored outside the Mawei Port, planning to attack the Mawei Shipyard and the Fujian Navy. Huang Jiliang sent a self-portrait to his father, expressing his determination to die for the country with loyalty instead of filial piety. On August 23, 1884, the French army launched a surprise attack. Huang Jiliang, the Yangwu ship and the officers and soldiers of the Fujian Navy quickly fired back and hit the bridge of the enemy's flagship USS Volda. The French fleet commander Gubah also nearly died. . But in the end, because Zhang Peilun and other upper levels of the Fujian military and politics were not prepared to fight, shortly after the war started, the starboard tail of the Yangwu was hit by an enemy torpedo and it sank quickly. The Fujian Navy was almost completely annihilated. Huang Jiliang, Xue Youfu, Yang Zhaonan, and Kwong Yongzhong were martyred and became the earliest victims of the returnees.

The Merit of Returnees in New China

Since the establishment of the Communist Party of China, visionary leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai have attached great importance to the "returnees" and adopted various policies, even without hesitation. Diplomatic methods have brought back home the intellectual talents represented by Qian Xuesen, Qian Sanqiang, Wang Ganchang, and Deng Jiaxian. What is different from today is that most of the "returnees" at this stage are in the fields of science and technology and education, and it is extremely rare that they have entered the political world. The first batch of "returnees" after the founding of New China made an indelible contribution to the development of education, science, culture, and health in the motherland. Especially in the field of science and technology, in a sense, a group of scientists trained in the United States and Europe sent Chinese satellites to the sky and laid the foundation for China to develop missiles and atomic bombs.

The reform in China that began in 1978 is a gradual reform initiated by Deng Xiaoping with his own personal authority and relying on the current system to promote. Its characteristic is that it goes from easy to difficult while maintaining stability. Gradually proceed. The fundamental reason why this reform has adopted a gradual model rather than shock therapy is that after suffering from the turmoil of wars and the Cultural Revolution, the vast majority of the people hope for stability. It is precisely because of this that this is a fine The reform of Yurunwu is contrary to the historical practice that major reforms are often directed by a few politicians but are often short-lived. Instead, thousands of social elites intervene from different angles and time periods. This is why The changes brought to China by this reform are detailed and solid, long-lasting and long-lasting.

As a part of China’s modernization process, reforms in the new era are the same as many reforms in modern China. In fact, they are based on Western developed countries as a frame of reference, whether it is market-oriented economic reforms or social-level legal system construction. , As well as certain value orientations at the cultural level, up to national-level development strategies, boldly borrowed from the laws and practices of Western developed countries that have been proven successful and effective. And all of this, of course, has brought huge opportunities and space for the returned elites who have studied both China and the West to use their talents.

Facts have proved that this is an era in which returnees are required and returnees are also successful. In the 30 years of reforms, returned overseas students have played a vital role. They became the think tank of China's reform, acted as the promoter of China's reform, the promoter of the legal society, and the reformer of China's financial market. Reform in the field of education

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