The People`s Republic of China has awarded scholarships to 24 South Africans to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at some of China’s top universities for the 2017/18 academic year.
The South African and Chinese Governments have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of higher education and training. The agreement covers a variety of areas of cooperation, one of which includes the offer of scholarships by the Chinese Government.
The Chinese Government provides tuition, accommodation, medical insurance and a basic living allowance. The DHET is responsible for the facilitation of the applications and nomination processes for the scholarships as well as providing support for the students including orientation, international flights and a contribution to living costs.
Speaking at a send-off ceremony for the departing students last week Thursday, the new Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Lin Songtian, appealed to students to seriously focus on their studies and invest their time towards obtaining quality skills that can be utilised to develop their home countries upon their return.
The team of six young women and 18 young men will be leaving for China in the next coming few months in preparation for registrations at their respective institutions for the new academic year. Fields of study for the scholarships recipients range from Economics Management, Agricultural Economics, Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Biotechnology, Engineering and Maritime Studies, among others.
According to the Chinese records, South Africa tops the number of students studying abroad in China among all the African countries.
Currently there are over 1500 South African students studying in China either on government to government scholarships, as self-paying students, students recruited by the Chinese agencies or through institution to institution collaborations.
The Chinese-DHET Scholarship is one of the oldest international scholarship programmes that the Department has collaborated on over the years.
Meanwhile, the DHET also had a send-off ceremony last week for additional 85 South African scholarships recipients awarded by the Hungarian government in various fields of study at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.