Chinese Scholarships and Universities: A Quick Guide to Study in China

Vibrant economy, quality education, charming culture and many other important factors have made China the ideal destination to study abroad. In the year of 2019, almost half a million international students from nearly 200 countries/regions were studying in China, making China the most popular country in Asia for international students and ranked among the top globally. This article would introduce Chinese scholarships and universities, with the aim of providing you with a quick guide to study in China.   

I. Scholarship

In order to promote international exchange and cooperation in various fields via education, the Chinese government, universities and many other institutions have set up a series of scholarship programs to sponsor international students, teachers and scholars to study or conduct research at Chinese universities. Below are major scholarship programs available to Namibians in recent years.

Chinese Government Scholarship

China Scholarship Council (CSC), entrusted by the Ministry of Education of China, is responsible for the enrollment and administration of Chinese Government Scholarship programs. 289 Chinese universities have been designated to enroll international students with Chinese Government Scholarship. Major Chinese Government Scholarship programs are listed as follows.

(China Scholarship Council is a non-profit institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.)

Bilateral Program. It is founded in accordance with the educational exchange consensus and agreement between the Chinese and the Namibian government. Undergraduate students, graduate students, general scholars and senior scholars are covered accordingly. The Chinese Embassy would post scholarship opportunities on its social media Facebook page.

Chinese University Program. The program is to finance international students and scholars that are directly selected and recommended by designated Chinese universities. Disciplines and terms offered by each university differ from one another. Applicants shall file an application with Chinese universities undertaking this program.

Great Wall Program. This is a full scholarship for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to sponsor scholars in developing countries to study and conduct research in China. It only supports general scholars and senior scholars. Applicants shall apply to the National Commissions for UNESCO in Namibia.

WMO Program. This is a scholarship for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to sponsor international students to study and conduct research in meteorology, hydrology, and water resources supervision and management in China. It only supports undergraduates and graduates. Applicants shall apply to WMO.

For those who want to learn more about Chinese Government Scholarship programs, introduction to the programs and related universities can be found in the following links.

MOFCOM scholarship

It is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China, and offers one-year and two-year master programs as well as three-year doctoral programs for Namibian talents working in the fields of government, trade, foreign affairs, agriculture, technology, education, culture and health, etc. The National Planning Commission of Namibia is entrusted to conduct the applications of the aforementioned personnel.

International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarship

For the purpose of cultivating qualified international Chinese language teachers and facilitating Chinese language education in foreign countries, this scholarship is funded by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC). It funds both degree program and short-term study in China.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Namibia may recommend outstanding students and currently-employed Chinese language teachers to study international Chinese language education or related majors in Chinese universities.

(CLEC, affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, is a non-profit institution for international Chinese language education.)

Other Scholarships

Many provinces and cities in China provide local government scholarships and most universities also offer their own school scholarships for international students. Usually, international students can find the specific requirements and other relevant information from universities’ websites or international student offices.

II. Chinese Scholarships in Africa and Namibia

China has been receiving African students and providing scholarships since the 1950s. In the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Chinese government has set up for Africa an all-round and multi-sector educational support system, including government scholarships, vocational training, workshops and so on, which has played a positive role in facilitating the development of human resources and education in African countries. As of 2020, China has provided about 120,000 government scholarships to African countries.

At the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, China pledged to offer another 50,000 scholarships for Africa, and this was again stressed at the FOCAC Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024). Studying in China with scholarship is no longer a dream out of reach, but an available and quite good alternative for African students.

The Chinese government began to provide government scholarship for Namibia since the year of 1994. Up to August 2021, a total of 389 students and scholars from Namibia have won Chinese government scholarship. In 2019 only, there were 67 outstanding students in Namibia awarded Chinese scholarships. Six of them were admitted by the Peking university, which set a new global record with the highest number of admission to this prestigious university from one country.

III. Chinese Universities

The Chinese government attaches great importance to education and has vigorously implemented the national strategy of “Vitalizing the Nation through Science and Education”. By 2021, there were 3,012 higher education institutions across China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), with more than 40 million students on campus. And China has the world’s second-highest number of top universities (the highest in Asia & Oceania region), according to the statistics of UNESCO.

In order to enhance the international competitiveness of Chinese higher education, China has launched several major development initiatives targeting selected universities. These initiatives can help international students identify the first-class group from the vast number of universities.

Double First Class University Plan

It was launched in 2015 by the Chinese government, which aims to comprehensively develop elite Chinese universities into world first class institutions by improving their faculty departments to world-class level by the end of 2050. The full list of the sponsored universities was published in September 2017, which includes 140 Double First Class Universities.

In February 2022, with the approval of the State Council of China, the Phase 2 list of “Double First-Class Universities” was announced, 147 universities were included in the plan after seven universities were added, representing the top 5% of the total 3,012 universities in China.

• Project 985 & Project 211

Before the Double First Class University Plan, Project 985 (including 39 universities) and Project 211 (including 112 universities) were key indicators for outstanding Chinese universities and are still often seen in the promotion of related universities.

• C9 league. Top nine elite universities in the Project 985 formed the “C9 league”, which is similar to the Ivy League in the United States. C9 league includes Fudan University (location: Shanghai), Harbin Institute of Technology (location: Harbin, Heilongjiang), Nanjing University(location: Nanjing, Jiangsu), Peking University (location: Beijing), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (location: Shanghai), Tsinghua University (location: Beijing), University of Science and Technology of China (location: Hefei, Anhui), Xi’an Jiaotong University (location: Xi’an Shaanxi), Zhejiang University (location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang).

IV. In the End

The Chinese Embassy in Namibia is mandated to manage the Chinese Government Scholarship and MOFCOM Scholarship in Namibia, facilitate Namibian students and scholars to study in China. In the past three years, despite the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese scholarship admission has been largely proceeding as usual. The Embassy warmly welcomes all the outstanding Namibian students, teachers and scholars who wish to study and work in China to apply for Chinese scholarships.

This article is provided by the Chinese Embassy in Namibia)