34 South African students offered scholarships to study in China
PRETORIA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony was held here on Wednesday to bid farewell to 34 South African students who have received scholarships to study in China as part of education exchange programs between the two countries.
The students are scheduled to leave on September 20 to pursue studies in agricultural science, economics, and medicine among other courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Taking part in the ceremony in the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria, South African Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana encouraged the students to be disciplined and act as South African ambassadors.
Beata Mtyingizana, Director of Global Partnerships at the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, said the program "is part of our mandate as a department to be responsive in skills development for the good of the country."
"We assist students to get skills in the country and negotiate with foreign governments like China for scholarships for the development of the country," she told Xinhua.
She said the Chinese government is offering the scholarships, while the South African government also assists financially and the students pay part of the amount.
"This is also part of our international relations strategy. This will also help to cement the relations between South Africa and China and also develop more cooperation."
She further stated that as a middle income country, South Africa is moving away from a donor syndrome where they receive donations from abroad.
South Africa, she said, also financially assists students with the hope that they would come back to make meaningful contribution to the economy of the country.
Sending students abroad would help fill skills shortages in South Africa. Such shortage has been identified as one of the obstacles to the country's development. These range from engineers, doctors, economists and maths and science teachers among others.