, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – One hundred and twenty Kenyan students have been offered full scholarships to undertake studies in China, funded by the People’s Republic of China.
They are part of over 200 scholarships offered this year alongside more than 500 training opportunities for Kenyan students and professionals to study in China in various disciplines for PhD, Masters as well as undergraduate degrees at reputable universities in China.
This is in addition to the over 300 Kenyan students’ already undertaking studies in China under various Chinese Government scholarships.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr Liu Xianfa on Thursday announced that more sponsorship will be offered to Kenyan students in future to undertake studies in China.
The Chinese Government has been offering scholarships to Kenya annually since 1982 and then doubled the quota in 2011.
“I am very proud to see that China has become one of the most favoured destinations for Kenyans pursing higher education and professional skills abroad,” the ambassador said Thursday at a pre-departure gathering for the students at the embassy.
The ambassador urged the students to stand firm while in China and overcome all the challenges likely to face them, including language difficulties and unfamiliar environment.
“It is also my sincere hope that you could learn Chinese language and culture, make Chinese friends, and of course at the same time be messengers and ambassadors of your country to introduce Kenya to more Chinese people, devoting yourself to facilitating the cooperation and promoting the friendship between our two countries,” the ambassador said.
He said the scholarships offered by Chinese government are part of fruits Kenya is reaping from the visit to China by President Uhuru Kenyatta three years ago when he held talks with his host President Xi Jinping.
“Exactly one week ago marked three years since President Uhuru Kenyatta’s historic visit to China and the establishment of China-Kenya Comprehensive and Cooperative Partnership. Over the past three years, the China-Kenya relationship has achieved unprecedented results, with benefits for the people of both countries,” the ambassador said.
He said mutual and “pragmatic cooperation has enabled China and Kenya to achieve new breakthroughs”, citing the Chinese investments in Kenya and expansion of trade ties. Chinese firms are undertaking major infrastructural developments-including the Standard Gauge Railway which is billed as the largest single project by the Kenyan government since independence.
Professor Colleta Suda, the Permanent Secretary in charge of University Education said the sponsorships by the Chinese Government are beneficial to Kenya through the transfer of knowledge.
“The training will definitely equip Kenyan students with relevant skills and competencies needed for sustainable national development,” she said at the ceremony where the students were awarded the scholarships at the Chinese embassy ahead of their departure to China.
“This ceremony is a testimony of a joint effort between the Ministry of Education in Kenya and the Chinese Embassy to foster continued collaboration in education,” she said.
In recent years, Kenya and China have initiated and established long term relationships which, the PS said, have in turn enhanced mutual exchanges in the education sector.
In 2011, she said, the two countries renewed an agreement aimed at promoting educational exchanges and cooperation in the field of higher education on a mutually beneficial basis.
“I am happy to note that Kenyan and Chinese universities have also embraced this good relationship between the two countries and signed agreements to strengthen postgraduate training. Some of these universities are Egerton University, Maasai Mara University and Kenyatta University, among others,” she said.