Ever since the Chinese overseas study and return policy was systematically proposed in 1992, the number of returnees has significantly increased. Both policymakers and scholars attach great importance to Shanghai - one of the most favourite cities forreturnees. With respect to Chinese context, the thesis attempts to explore the policy impact on a new feature of human capital flows - brain circulation, especially the brain circulation to Shanghai. Hence, the thesis integrates policy analysis tools and factors for brain circulation, in order to achieve two objectives. First, starting from analyzing returnees’ policy at two different levels, aims at discovering the similarities and differences between the national policy and Shanghai municipal policy. Second, it attempts to link the findings of policy analysis to factors that contribute to brain circulation, in order to explore whether policy is the main impetus that has an effect on brain circulation. Based on a large amount of policy documents and part of statistical data, the thesis applies the qualitative research strategy to conduct the study.
The thesis finds out that returnees’ policy has a strong focus on attracting highly skilled returnees and corresponds to the features of brain circulation in such a way, from which it could be concluded that Shanghai municipal policy consolidates the national policy and is more efficient for implementation and attracting targeted returnees. Based on the policy analysis, the thesis evaluates four factors (globalization, dual citizenship, no movement barriers and boundaryless career) that stimulate brain circulation. Through direct policy guidance or indirect policy influence, the thesis finds out that to most extent policy is the main impetus for those factors. In terms of current situation, returnees’ policy leads to a positive trend of brain circulation. Nonetheless, it still requires more studies and further developments.