Eleven outstanding students from the University of Zimbabwe were awarded scholarships under the China-Zimbabwe Friendship Scholarship on Saturday to cover part of their tuition fees.
The inaugural ceremony of the scholarship program, which was hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe (CIUZ), was facilitated by the China-Africa Economic and Cultural Research and Exchange Center (CAECERC) with the support from the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe.
The China-Zimbabwe Friendship Scholarship was launched earlier this year, primarily targeting students from state universities studying engineering and technology, health sciences, agriculture, natural sciences, etc., CIUZ director Li Liqin told Xinhua.
The scholarship recipients pocketed a cash prize of US $ 300 each.
In addition, the winners of an essay competition organized by the Chinese Embassy and CIUZ on the theme “My story with China” also left with the latest smartphones and laptops.
Coming from all walks of life, the contest participants wrote about their impressions of China and their experiences of learning the Chinese language.
After impressing the judges with her essay in which she recounted her first-hand experience with China during a month-long summer program in Beijing, Rufaro Lucetta Makiwa won the top prize for a Lenovo laptop.
Makiwa, who specializes in English and Chinese at the University of Zimbabwe, said the increased engagement between China and Africa motivated her to study Chinese.
“The bilateral relations between China and Zimbabwe have motivated me to see that we are now working together, so I just thought that if I do this program, I will have a lot of opportunities, I will not be stuck,” she declared.
Fellow and second prize winner in the Essay Writing Competition, Natasha Machaya, shared her experience of learning Chinese characters and the mechanisms she used to master them despite their complexity.
âThe scholarship motivates me so that I can get another scholarship next year, and I will work hard to get another scholarship for my masters in China,â she said.
Victor Mugari, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Zimbabwe, expressed his gratitude to the Chinese community for their support for local education initiatives.
“For our students, having the chance to have the necessary resources to continue their studies is something very important to us, we want our young people to be empowered to pursue what they do best,” he said. .
Steve Zhao, director of CAECERC, said the scholarship program is part of the Chinese community’s initiatives to give back to society.
Through CAECERC, Zhao facilitated and promoted various cultural exchange programs between Zimbabwe and China, including bringing Chinese students and scholars to Zimbabwe as well as sending Zimbabwean students and scholars to China.
One of its flagship programs, Dreamstar Zimbabwe Talent Search Competition, has become Zimbabwe’s premier talent show.
Every year, Dreamstar sends talented young Zimbabwean artists to China to bring Zimbabwean culture to the international stage.
The winners of the competition also benefited from scholarships offered by Dreamstar with the support of the Chinese Embassy.
China has been at the forefront of promoting Zimbabwe’s education, with the Asian country providing over 100 scholarships to Zimbabwean students annually through the Chinese Government Scholarship, Scholarship from the Confucius Institute, various provincial government scholarships as well as scholarships funded by Chinese companies in Zimbabwe.