China has pledged to sponsor 10,000 international students to study in the country over the next five years.
As part of its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, the Chinese government aims to strengthen ties between countries along the land-bound Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road through education.
The scholarships, known as the ‘Belt and Road’ scholarships, will also fund 2,500 Chinese students every year for the next three years, sending them to countries linked to the trade and infrastructure routes, which stretch from Asia to Europe and Africa.
Beijing released an action plan in August covering the next five years, which includes the scholarships.
The plan outlines how the government believes the scholarships will help the Education Ministry foster valuable education-based partnerships with these countries.
China’s new scholarship to sponsor students from Belt & Road Initiative nations https://t.co/grYhf35esK
— Global Issues Web (@globalissuesweb) August 11, 2016
According to the action plan, the scholarship program is meant to “train industrial leaders and skillful talented people”, and encourage more students to study abroad, bringing useful skills and knowledge back to their home countries.
However, the ministry has yet to provide details on which levels of study the scholarships are for, or how much money is being invested.
The plan says that the ministry is “committed to the balance between outbound and inbound study”, as well as maintaining the quantity and quality of student exchange, reported The PIE News.
— The PIE News (@ThePIENews) September 19, 2016
In addition to that, the ministry hopes to work towards improving teaching quality, particularly through joint programs with the other countries, such as visits and student/staff exchanges, as well as the establishing new schools.
Through these activities, China believes that it will “strengthen the exchange of experience and enhance regional quality of education”.
The scholarships come quick on the heels of the unveiling of China’s latest five-year plan (2016-2020) on education, which focuses on further developing education reforms and promoting the modernization of education.
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