There’s room for more Barbadians to study in Beijing.
That’s according to Chinese Ambassador to Barbados Yan Xiusheng who revealed that his country had seen an increase in the number of international students undertaking graduate and undergraduate studies there and he did not want Barbados to be left out.
“Chinese universities are ranking top in the world. China is vastly becoming an attractive destination for international students and every year more than 500,000 students from some 200 countries will choose China for studies,” Xiusheng told attendees at the orientation and delivery ceremony, of admission letters to the 2018/2019 Chinese Government Scholarship winners, at the Chinese Embassy on Friday.
“Being the Chinese Ambassador to Barbados, I warmly welcome more Barbadian students to study in China as well as to experience China and understand China. The embassy will continue to offer quality service and assistance in this regard,” he added, as he wished the students success in their studies.
Ambassador Xiusheng also revealed that some 3,500 Barbadians have benefitted from learning the Chinese language since the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
He further pointed to millions of dollars in teaching aid that have been donated, by the government of China to Barbados, for improvement in several areas including agriculture.
The diplomat added that relations between the two countries have been very rewarding.
“Barbados pioneers in the Caribbean region for introducing Chinese language in their curriculum of local secondary schools and over 80 Barbadian students have received Chinese government scholarships ever since.
“The progress made in educational cooperation has become a perfect showcase of people to people exchange between China and Barbados and is the epitome of our bilateral relations” Ambassador Xiusheng stated.
The Chinese ambassador urged the scholarship winners to immerse themselves in the Chinese culture and cherish every moment of life’s journey as they strived for academic excellence.
Ten Barbadians – seven males and three females – between the ages of 18 and 26, were awarded this year’s Chinese Government Scholarships to undertake their undergraduate and graduate studies at various universities across China.
One of the awardees has already left the island while the others are expected to leave within the next two weeks.
Their areas of study include – theoretical economics, civil engineering, international trade, mechanical engineering, animated cartoon, architecture, material science and engineering, artistic design, international relations and diplomacy and international finance and investment.
Outlining their plans for the next several years, all the scholarship winners indicated their intention of returning to Barbados to help develop various aspects of the island’s economic, social and environmental landscape.
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw congratulated the awardees while agreeing that it was necessary for them to return and “give back” to their nation.
“I implore each and every one of you that in whatever you may learn and how far you may cross China, that you must always remember home and find your way to use the knowledge you gain and the discipline in another culture, find a way to come back to Barbados at some point to be able to give back,” she said.
Bradshaw added that over the last decade Barbados had “dropped the ball” in relation to its citizens partaking in cutting edge research internationally especially in agriculture and engineering and returning to make a contribution to the island’s development.
Thanking China for its various assistance over the years, Bradshaw said the financial contributions given in recent times have been put to good use, adding “without it I don’t know where Barbados would be”.
Also highlighting the work of the Confucius Institute, Bradshaw said it was her ministry’s wish to “continue to develop a cadre of local Barbadian teachers of Chinese language and culture”.
“Barbados has also agreed to provide two teachers to teach English in China,” Bradshaw added. (MM)