As part of its plan to raise the number of international students studying in china to 500,000 by 2020, the Chinese government will provide scholarships for 50,000 international students by 2015 – report from China.org.cn.
In 2012, China reached its target of spending 4% of GDP on education. And it is currently investing US$250 billion a year in “human capital”, which includes the subsidy of education.
The question is, how can you benefit from this opportunity as a student from Africa or developing country?
Opportunity to study in China for free
In order to promote the mutual understanding, cooperation and exchanges in politics, economy, culture, education and trade between China and other countries, the Chinese Government offers a series of Scholarship programs to sponsor international students, teachers and scholars to undertake degree studies (bachelor, master or PhD) or academic research in China Universities.
– See more at: http://www.afterschoolafrica.com/782/chinese-government-scholarship-program/#sthash.XKlPZCwD.dpuf
China Scholarship Council (CSC), entrusted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of People’s Republic of China, is responsible for the enrollment and administration of Chinese Government Scholarship programs. 279 designated Chinese universities offer a wide variety of academic programs in Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine, Law, Economics, Management, Education, Liberal Arts, Philosophy, History, and Fine Arts for scholarship winners at undergraduate, masters and PhD levels.
The following Chinese Government Scholarship programs offers opportunity for international students from Africa and other developing countries to study in China for free.
- Chinese Government Scholarship Bilateral Program
This includes full or partial scholarships in accordance with educational exchange agreements or MOUs between the Chinese government and governments of other countries, institutions, universities or international organizations. It supports undergraduate students, graduate students, general scholars and senior scholars.
Applicants shall apply to the dispatching authorities for overseas study in their home countries. For instance, the administering authority for the Bilateral Program in Nigeria is Federal Scholarship Board.
- Chinese University Scholarship Program
This is a full scholarship for designated universities in China and certain provincial education offices to enroll outstanding international students to pursue graduate degrees in China. It only supports graduate students. Applicants shall apply to the designated Chinese universities undertaking this program. At present, a total of 271 Chinese universities are designated to undertake this program. See the list of 271 Designated Chinese Universities Undertaking This Program
- Great Wall Program for Developing Countries
This is a full scholarship for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to sponsor students and scholars in developing countries to study and conduct research in China. Applicants shall apply to the National Commissions for UNESCO in their home countries.
This program only supports, in general, one-year English-taught programs. Scholarship recipients of Chinese-taught programs without adequate Chinese proficiency are required to get approval from both CSC and UNESCO for one-year Chinese language study.
You can apply to the dispatching authorities for overseas study in your home country or the designated Chinese universities undertaking the program between January and early April.
Number of Scholarships: Up to 55,000
Full Scholarship covers: tuition waiver, accommodation, stipend, medical insurance
Application Deadline: the application season is between January and early April.
Offered annually? Yes
To learn Chinese Language or Not
The major languages in China, Mandarin, is the world’s largest language by number of speakers. Given China’s growing stature on the world stage, it is obviously going to enhance your employability if you know your way around Mandarin.
However, many universities in China offer courses taught in English, and you’ll also find that many Chinese people speak English. If you choose to study in China in English, you won’t need to prove your fluency in Mandarin, but you may need to submit the results of a test of English proficiency such as IELTS or TOEFL.
If you decide to tackle a course in the native tongue, you will need to provide adequate Chinese proficiency test results. You will usually need to reach level 3-8 (there are a total of 11), depending on your university and course.
Quick Tips for Getting a Scholarship to Study in China:
- Learn some Chinese: It looks good if you’ve studied a little bit of China, or proving you’ve already invested some time and energy into acquiring the language. It doesn’t have to be through formal education. Self-study will say a lot about you as a scholarship candidate. Here is a comprehensive online course to learn Chinese – Chinese Made Easy: Understand 65% of Chinese in 9 hours
- Don’t learn too much Chinese: Scholarships aim to help students improve their language proficiency. If you’ve been speaking Chinese since you were a kid and don’t necessarily need a long-term trip to China to further your skills, you may be less likely to receive an award.
- Learn some Chinese history/culture: Scholarship councils can judge from an essay whether or not you truly care about China and your insights to the country. If you make it a point to learn all about different facets of Chinese society (even the not so good stuff), you will be more impressive. Further, your writing will come more naturally and have a more sincere voice.
- Be explicit about your goals: Detail is key here. Do you have a target number of characters you wish to know like the back of your hand? Do you want to focus your studies on Speaking/Listening, further justifying your need to study the language in China itself, where you can talk and interact with locals regularly? Define your goals and be excited about them. Scholarship teams will find your enthusiasm and determination contagious!
Again, being able to communicate in Chinese will give you added advantage to get a job and have a smooth stay in China.
If you’ve been harboring the dream to go to China, or to study as an international student, seize this opportunity while it last.