A total of 310 Ghanaian students have been awarded full scholarships by the Chinese government to further their education in various universities in China.
The number of scholarships is the highest to be offered to any country by the Chinese government this year and would afford the beneficiaries the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate degrees in public administration, agriculture, architecture, ICT, environmental engineering, and traditional Chinese medicine among other disciplines at the Peking, Tsinghua and other universities.
Speaking at the award ceremony on Friday, August 23, in Accra, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Shi Ting Wang said, the awarding of the scholarships to Ghanaian students was a testament to China’s commitment to developing the human resource of Ghana.
He stated that China and Ghana shared the same belief that investing in education was investing in the future and noted that in 2018, 6,475 Ghanaian students studied in China while 1,329 study visas were issued to Ghanaians and nearly 1,000 more Ghanaians went to China for various training courses.
“This is proof of the cordial relationship that exists between Ghana and China. The Chinese embassy will continue to support Ghanaian students to study in China,” he pledged.
Take advantage of opportunity
Mr Shi stated that, a Chinese education opened a new world of opportunities for students. He, therefore, encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the scholarships given them to build capacity in their fields of endeavour. He urged them to project a positive image of Ghana to the Chinese people.
“You are in the best years of your life and your passion, self-confidence and unyielding strength represents the source of the national spirit of Ghana. You are the future of Ghana, the future of the China-Ghana friendship and the future of the world,” he added.
The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who was the guest of honour for the occasion said, the government believes that “education is the shortest route between deprivation and opportunity and a vital tool by which a nation can lift its citizens from poverty to industrial growth.”
That he said, underpinned the government’s commitment to providing Free Senior High School education, promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM), together with Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
He expressed the hope that the beneficiaries of the scholarship would return home with enhanced skills to drive Ghana’s economy through innovation, science and technology just as China had done.
“I encourage you to embrace this as an exciting new chapter in your lives, a chapter of exploration, opportunity and promise. Do your best to tap into the rich history of China, their incredible talents and dynamic passion to succeed so you can come back and contribute to the national development of this nation,” Dr Prempeh added.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Albert Yankey, admonished the beneficiaries to respect the laws of China and be good ambassadors of Ghana as they studied.
Representatives of past and new beneficiaries, Mr Timothy Karikari and Ms Jamila Jakalia respectively spoke of how studying in China had impacted positively on scholarship recipients, pledged to make the best of the opportunity afforded them and be good ambassadors of Ghana.
Some beneficiaries of the scholarship who spoke to Daily Graphic were optimistic that a Chinese education would offer them the opportunity to build their capacities and make them agents of positive change in their fields of endeavour.
One of the awardees, a civil servant, Ms Gertrude Owusu Konadu, whose scholarship will enable her pursue a Master’s programme at the Sunyat-Sen University in Guangzhou in the Guandong Province of China, expressed her excitement and hoped to return to Ghana transformed through her studies.