The Chinese Embassy in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology hosted a send-off ceremony on Thursday, 15 August 2019 to 14 UJ students to study in Chinese universities for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The scholarship awarding ceremony was held at the Chinese embassy in South Africa, Pretoria, which was attended by students, academia and officials from the three sides.
The selected students will leave for China next month for their degrees in different fields, including studies of China’s history and culture, medicine, information technology, environmental science, Chinese language teaching and international economic and trade.
The students will study in different universities in different regions of the country.
Ambassador Lin Songtian congratulated the students on their achievement of becoming the pride of their family and for the country.
“The Chinese language can be very complicated, but if you are serious to focus on your studies and keep practicing, you can come back after six months and communicate in Chinese,” he said.
Ambassador Songtian told students that they would feel like home in China because the Chinese government and society both are ready to welcome and facilitate them in their stay for studies in China.
The Department of Higher Education offered additional funding for the scholarship. More than 200 students have received a full scholarship from the Chinese Embassy.
Also speaking was Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede, Head: Internationalisation Office at UJ, who said: “We need to train more students who are going to contribute to the development of the future ties between South Africa and China. She further iterated that UJ is granting opportunities around the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a university with expertise around this field.
Lauren Pillay, who is going for the master degree in Sociology, says that this is a great opportunity because she is looking forward to new and unforeseeable challenges while living abroad. “The things that make me the most nervous–like living in a new city on my own, experiencing cultural disconnect, being vulnerable and bold in learning a new language– are all the things that are going to make this experience the most impactful and worthwhile.”
Another student Sibusiso Makhula, who has got a scholarship to study Sports Science, said he is very excited about this comprehensive scholarship program which provides medical insurance, accommodation and stipends.
“Many of us who are living in South Africa, who come from middle-income families, cannot afford to study abroad. It is something very beneficial for South African students,” he said.
The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping became the latest high-profile public figure to be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the institution.