26.8 C
Johannesburg
Thursday, November 24, 2022
HomeNewsEmbassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies...

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China

- Advertisement -

Pretoria – Almost 60 South African students, drawn from leading universities across the country, were in Pretoria to receive their awards at the Chinese embassy in Pretoria after competing in essay competitions.

The 59 students who received their awards, including cash prizes handed over at the embassy over the weekend, emerged victorious from a cohort of 350 keen contestants from top South African institutions of higher education, including the Durban University of Technology, University of Cape Town, Wits University, Stellenbosch University, and Rhodes University.

Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, was joined by Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela in presenting the awards to the successful students.

Addressing the jubilant students, the Chinese diplomat remarked that his government led by President Xi Jinping has annually been welcoming outstanding students from all over the world into China, including South African learners, to study or embark on exchange programmes offered at Chinese institutions.

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong delivering the keynote address at an event honouring South African "outstanding" university students in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

“According to our agreement, each year, China provides about 30 full scholarships under the Chinese government scholarships programme for South African university students to study languages or pursue academic degrees in China,” said Chen.

“Thanks to this programme, a number of South African students have been able to fulfil their dreams in China over the past few years. They studied hard in China and brought what they learnt back to South Africa.

“Now, they are playing an important role in their respective jobs and have become envoys of China-South Africa friendship,” he said.

The 2023 Chinese government scholarship is now open for application, and the Chinese ambassador urged South African students to apply.

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Almost 60 South African "outstanding" university students were honoured by the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

“Relevant information is available on the Embassy’s website and the website of the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. If you are interested, you are welcome to access these websites and file application. China will welcome you with open arms,” said Chen.

The Chinese envoy added that the future of China-South Africa relations is anchored on the two nations’ young people.

“Youth gives rise to infinite hope, and young people are the creators of a bright future. The future of China and South Africa and the continuation of friendship between the two countries are in the hands of the promising young people of the two countries, including each one of you in this room, and the hope rests on you,” he said.

“The essay contest is coming to an end. But it’s just an end to one activity. I am confident that we are, in fact, together ushering in a brand-new chapter.

“We hope all of our friends can continue to follow the development of China and China-South Africa relations and continue to study and promote Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”

Deputy Minister Manamela told the prestigious gathering that the awards ceremony was testimony to the cordial relationship that exists between “our two great nations”.

Manamela said through commitment by its citizenry, led by a decisive government, the People’s Republic of China has built a far greater State capacity than any other developing country.

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

“Today, China is classified as an upper-middle-income country that has a GDP of over $18 trillion, a life expectancy of 77.47, an unemployment rate of 5.5% and has the largest basic education system in the world with almost 260 million students and over 15 million teachers in over 500 000 schools,” said Manamela.

“China also aims to become a global leader in strategic emerging technologies such as cyber, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies and has produced global tech giants such as Huawei, JD.com, China Mobile, Alibaba, and Tencent.

“These companies also form part of the top 20 global tech companies when measured by revenue. Building on all this, China’s other ambition is to become a ‘manufacturing superpower’ through its industrial master plan ‘Made in China 2025’.”

He said all this is part of China’s vision to build one of the world’s most advanced and competitive economies with the help of innovative manufacturing technologies.

Stellenbosch University student Iola Elizabeth Meyer, who was also representative of the contest winners, addressed the gathering in Mandarin and English.

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Almost 60 South African "outstanding" university students were honoured by the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

Surprisingly, Iola said she started to learn Mandarin while at university.

“I started learning Chinese when I was in first year at university. A lot of people do not realise this, but you can study Chinese at a Confucius Institute at your university for something like R200 per semester, which comes up something not much at all. It has been a very rewarding experience to see how it opens doors so that you can interact with other people, especially with sometimes come to South Africa, not being able to communicate with anyone,” she said.

After completing her Honours degree in Chinese, Iola hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Inter-cultural Communication.

“Then I hope to work connecting people of different cultures and helping them to communicate and interact,” she said.

Another winner, University of the Western Cape student Sinovuyo Mkula, said she has been studying Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Almost 60 South African "outstanding" university students were honoured by the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

“I have received an award for writing an essay about basically the development of Chinese medicine through the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and what we can later, the challenges that we face,” she said.

“About winning this award, honestly speaking, I have been praying about it and manifesting it, so I told myself that I was going to be a winner either way. I didn’t care what was going to happen. I told myself that I was a winner. I was really happy and excited.”

“At the same time, I have a lot of school stuff happening at the moment, so I could not really enjoy the moment fully, but I am happy to be here.”

Embassy awards ‘outstanding’ South African students, urges learners to take up studies in China
Almost 60 South African "outstanding" university students were honoured by the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Supplied

IOL

Original Article

- Advertisement -
RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -