International Educator - May/June 2019 - 26

A Rising Tide
Chinese investment across Africa yields results in
higher education
Most news about China in the field of
international education tends to be about
outbound students. But in 2014, China
quietly surpassed the United Kingdom and
the United States as a top destination for
international students from Africa-and it
continues to draw increasing numbers of
students from the continent.
This eclipse was no overnight
development. Rather, it is an outgrowth
of China's major diplomatic outreach
and investment in Africa over the past 2
decades. As China's influence on higher
education in Africa grows by leaps
and bounds, this development poses
major long-term implications for higher
education on the African continent, in
China, and throughout the world.

The Roots of Growth
China's place as a top destination for
African tertiary international students
is the product of a concerted effort. A
multipronged approach actively promotes

Chinese culture and language diffusion
throughout the African continent,
supports African national higher education
efforts, and fosters diverse and dynamic
intergovernmental and interinstitution
tertiary efforts.
In 2000, a newly formed Forum on China-
Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) sought to
establish a framework for China to coordinate
its multiple diplomatic relationships with
African nations. As of 2017, the forum
includes every African nation.
Postsecondary education has emerged
as one focal point of the organization's
agenda at a time when many African
countries are more focused on primary
and secondary educational efforts.
The higher education initiatives that
FOCAC supports span a wide range of
areas, including academic exchanges,
government scholarships, cooperative
higher education and research projects,
technical and vocational training, distance
education, language instruction, mutual

Increase in African Students Studying in China
No. of African students

Growth over previous year (%)

50,000

15

40,000

12

30,000

9

20,000

6

10,000

3

0

'03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15

Source: Chinese Ministry of Education (via Michigan State University)

26  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N.2019

0

recognition of academic qualifications, and
more, noted Mini Gu, a quality assurance
specialist at World Education Services
(WES) in a 2017 analysis.
Simultaneously, the United States's
influence on African students is receding,
according to many experts.
"There is a huge shift taking place here,"
says Nico Cloete, director of the Centre for
Higher Education Trust, coordinator of the
Higher Education Research and Advocacy
Network in Africa, and author of the recently
published article, "Research Universities -
Lessons for Africa from China."
"The United States is not seen as doing
anything in Africa, while China is spending
billions of dollars building infrastructure
and actual universities in Sudan," he says.
In November 2018, for example, China
handed over a $41 million, Chinesefunded, state-of-the-art library located
in the University of Dar es Salaam to the
Tanzanian government.

A Leading Destination Market
The rising tide of inbound African students
at Chinese institutions comes as many
African countries' higher education sectors
lack the capacity to accommodate their
youth bulges. Student mobility numbers
through 2015 show a steady rise in
enrollment of African students in Chinese
higher education institutions, from just
under 2,000 in 2003 to almost 50,000 in
2015, based on figures released by China's
Ministry of Education.
While some observers question
whether these numbers can be
independently verified, United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) statistics point
to a similar trend. France is the top
destination for African students studying
abroad, hosting just over 95,000 students
in 2014; the United States and the United
Kingdom both hosted around 40,000
African students the same year. According
to UNESCO data and an analysis by



International Educator - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Iran
Quick Questions
Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
Feature: The Faces of International Education
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 4
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - May/June 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Global Spotlight: Iran
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: The Faces of International Education
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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