International Educator - May/June 2019 - 27

Yue Ma, far right, says that
Western institutions are still
attractive to African students
because of long-standing
partnerships on the continent.

Michigan State University doctoral student
Victoria Breeze, China's almost 50,000
enrolled African students were enough to
take the number two spot behind France.
Scholarships play a big role in the influx
of African students in China. Between
2010 and 2014, a reported 33,866 Chinese
government scholarships were distributed
to African students through FOCAC, says
Gu at WES. In 2015, at the sixth FOCAC
ministerial conference in Johannesburg,
South Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping
announced plans to further increase
aid to postsecondary African students.
The plan encompasses 30,000 additional
scholarships, including 2,000 postgraduate
and doctoral slots at top Chinese
institutions, and short-term sponsorships
for 200 African scholars and 500 African
youths to visit China. At the 2018 FOCAC
conference, China committed to providing
African students with 50,000 government
scholarships and 50,000 opportunities for
seminars and workshops to train more
professionals in different disciplines.

COURTESY YUE MA

Quality and Reach
Some experts find it difficult to measure
the quality of the education that African
students receive in China. However,
Kenneth King, professor emeritus of
international and comparative education
at the University of Edinburgh and former
director of its Centre of African Studies,

says that according to the more than 200
interviews he conducted with African
students and educators for a 2013 book,
China's Aid and Soft Power in Africa: The
Case of Education and Training, African
students indicated that they are generally
satisfied with the quality and nature
of their experiences at Chinese higher
education institutions.
"African students I spoke to were
positive about their exposure to China
and to the Chinese culture of learning and
hard work," King says. "They all say the
greatest influence gained from China is to
take hard work seriously....Most African
students who returned had their Chinese
educations accredited in the countries
that they returned to-there hasn't been a
feeling that these are second-rate degrees."
China's higher education sector could
become increasingly competitive, given
steadily rising rankings for many Chinese
institutions, the powerful legacy that
mobility patterns can create, and students'
hopes of landing a job in, or interacting
with, China's rapidly expanding economic
presence on the African continent.
"Chinese higher education institutions
are serious competitors for international
students," says King, noting that most
African students in China are self-funded,
despite the growth in scholarships.
However, many international educators
say that for a large number of African

students, Western institutions with longer
lineages and higher scholastic rankings
remain the first choice.
"I think Anglo-European higher
education institutions (HEIs) have been
doing well in their partnerships with Africa,"
says Yue Ma, head and senior lecturer
of Chinese at the University of Cape
Town in South Africa. "Comparatively,
Chinese HEIs are new here and less
experienced. Many African students, like
some Chinese students, eye Western HEIs
as more attractive destinations for their
postgraduate studies than Chinese ones.
In fact, more competitive students would
consider opportunities in Anglo-European
HEIs as their priorities."

Educational and
Economic Exchange
To create a robust presence within African
higher education institutions, China
established a network of Confucius Institutes.
The Confucius Institutes, which China
operates in other countries around the world,
are nonprofit public education organizations
affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of
Education. Their stated goals are to promote
Chinese language and culture, support
local Chinese teaching internationally, and
facilitate cultural exchanges.
Ernest Aryeetey, former vice
chancellor of University of Ghana and
now secretary general of the African
Research Universities Alliance, says that
African institutions' experiences with
Confucius Institutes can vary by how
each director manages the relationship.
"I've seen different experiences," Aryeetey
says. "Some African universities take what
they want from the collaborations, while
in other places the Confucius Institute
determines what is done. If you don't have
a good partner, you may not get much out
of the partnership."
China's increasing draw for African
students also reflects its growing economic
presence and influence across Africa itself.
M AY + J U N.2019 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

27  



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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