China to offer 26 scholarships this year

The People’s Republic of China will offer 26 scholarships to eligible Samoan students this academic year, says the Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Apia.

Qi Jingsi, when responding to questions sent by the Samoa Observer, indicated that close to 300 Chinese universities were offering academic study programs to scholarship recipients.

“The Chinese Scholarship Program sponsors international students, teachers and scholars to study and conduct research in Chinese universities, promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and exchanges in various fields between China and other countries,” she said.

According to Ms Jingsi, a total of 289 designated Chinese universities are offering a wide variety of academic study programs targeting Chinese government scholarship recipients at all levels.

She said the Chinese government has run the scholarship program for Samoan students since 1982.

“By now, there have been more than 300 Samoan awardees. In 2021 the program will provide 26 full scholarships for Samoan applicants,” she added.

In order to be eligible for a scholarship, the applicant has to be a citizen of a country other than the People’s Republic of China and be in good health.

The basic requirements set by the Chinese Embassy is that the applicant should be a high school graduate under the age of 25 when applying for the undergraduate programs; be a bachelor’s degree holder under the age of 35 when applying for the master’s programs; be a master’s degree holder under the age of 40 when applying for doctoral programs; be under the age of 45 and have a high school diploma (or higher) when applying for the general scholar programs; and be a master’s degree holder or an associate professor (or above) under the age of 50 when applying for the senior scholar programs.

In early 2021 it was reported that Samoan students who were awarded scholarships under the China–Samoa Bilateral Scholarship Award have the option of applying for a one-year deferral of their scholarship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were a total of 22 students who received scholarships under the Chinese Government Scholarship 2020–2021 Program with some choosing to study online while others applied for a one-year deferment of their scholarship.

Samoan students who were studying in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the coronavirus early last year – were repatriated nearly a year ago on an Air New Zealand charter flight.

They arrived in Auckland to undergo a 14-day quarantine process and returned to Samoa in February last year.

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