The Chinese government, through their embassy in Kigali, has awarded scholarships to 14 Rwandan students to pursue studies at various levels of higher education in China.
The students, who will pursue undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral studies, were seen off in a cocktail organised by the embassy on Friday.
“Go and absorb the knowledge that will help you to respond to your individual, family, but more importantly national needs. You should overcome all social challenges or difficulties you may encounter while there, especially the culture,” said Shen Yongxiang, the Chinese ambassador, who also urged beneficiaries to excel academically.
The programme under which the students were selected, focus on critical areas where the country needs more skilled human resource. These disciplines include civil engineering, finance, ICT, agriculture , medicine, communication, international relations, among others.
“Your spell in China shouldn’t be solely about studies; go and sell Rwanda, showcase your country’s culture and natural beauty,” said Fred Mugisha, the Director of policy, planning and research at the National Council of Higher Education.
The Chinese government sponsors at least 40 students every year, in various higher education programmes. It also offers various short training programmes to civil servants, with 280 people having benefited in the last two years.
“This is an opportunity not only for me but for my country. I want, once I have completed my studies, to return to my country and help make a difference with the acquired knowledge,” said Alfred Uwitonze, who will pursue a PhD in information systems.
“We greatly treasure the trust and confidence Rwandans have put in the Chinese education system, and this has encouraged us to continue offering scholarships whenever we can,” said Gui Dan, the political attaché at the Chinese embassy in Kigali.
According to Gui, Rwanda Education Board (REB) makes the first round of recommendation, before the list of potential beneficiaries is submitted to the embassy for final screening.