Sixty Rwandan students admitted to Chinese universities will depart for their studies before the end of the month.
The students were awarded full scholarships by the Chinese government through the Chinese embassy in Kigali.
The number, which is almost double that of last year, represents the will of the Chinese government to continue strengthening education support to Rwandan students, according to officials.
Previously, China awarded between 35-40 scholarships to Rwandan students.
Speaking at the students’ farewell reception at the Chinese Embassy in Kigali, on Thursday, Counsellor Cao Zhimin extended his congratulations, on behalf of the ambassador, to the students who made it to this year’s list to pursue their further studies in China.
“I’m glad that the 60 students have got the opportunity this year and in a few days’ time, will fly to China to pursue the bachelor's degree, master's degree or PhD,” Cao said.
“I appreciate your keen interest in China’s language, technology, culture, and its people. I’m sure you need to spend a lot of time on campus learning your majors. But on the other hand, I encourage you to get into closer contact with the people off campus and learn about Chinese society first hand.”
Cao explained that awarding scholarships is one component among the many other commitments that China has made to support Rwanda’s education.
“China is committed to enhancing educational cooperation with Rwanda, as we believe education is of great significance in the national building as well as personal development,” the counsellor said.
“The educational exchange is important in promoting friendship and understanding between our two peoples. That’s why the Chinese Government has kept on providing more scholarships to the Rwandan students to study in China annually,” he added.
Students will pursue bachelors degree, masters and PhD in various disciplines ranging from Civil Engineering, Finance, ICT, Agriculture, Medicine, Communication, International Relations, International Business and Marketing, among others.
Rwanda and China have been enjoying strong bilateral relations.
“At present, both sides are implementing the Sino-Africa “Ten major cooperation plans” raised by President Xi Jinping at the Johannesburg Summit, and the outcomes of Chairman Zhang Dejiang’s (chairman of the National People's Congress of China) recent visit to Rwanda.
“All these open up a floodgate of opportunities and forge closer partnership in various fields. You will personally experience these exciting changes in China,” Cao told the students.
Meanwhile, Dr Celestin Ntivuguruzwa, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education, advised the Rwandan students to go to China, mingle with Chinese, learn from their culture, behaviour and then work hard and come back and impact the Rwandan communities positively.