Apogee Of Educational Collaboration
Interaction between Cameroon and China in the domain has attained great heights in 47 years.
Cameroon and China have maintained diplomatic relations since March 26, 1971. Ever since, educational cooperation has continued to grow from strength to strength. There are about 1,700 Cameroonians currently studying in China, the highest number of African students in that nation.
In 2016, more than 300 Cameroonians travelled to China for various training programmes, while 77 students from Confucius Institute, Cameroon, were awarded Chinese scholarships. The number of Chinese language learners enrolled in Confucius Institute Cameroon now exceeds 10,000.
The Cameroon Embassy in China and Xingtai Polytechnic College, Heibei Province on October 10, 2017 signed a Memorandum Of Understanding, MOU to grant scholarships to Cameroonian students in various fields. Cameroon’s Ambassador to China, Martin Mpana, was also made Xingtai Polytechnic College Honorary Professor at the occasion. The deal was signed by Martin Mpana and the President of Xingtai Polytechnic College, Ma Dongxiao.
The MOU provides for the training of 20 Cameroonian students each year in Diploma programmes (the Cameroonian equivalent of Higher National Diploma, HND). Students undertake a year’s study of Chinese language in Cameroon before proceeding to China to read their courses for two years. Upon completion, they can enter university for two years to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, the scholarship entails free tuition, accommodation, health insurance, books and a monthly stipend of 1,500 RMB (126,727 FCFA).
On the other hand, China will in the next three years grant 30,000 scholarships to Africans – including Cameroonians – for higher education studies in various disciplines as expressed by individual African governments. There are also opportunities for on-site vocational training in Cameroon and China and the provision of educational equipment in various subjects and trades. The announcement was made in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on May 12, 2017, by educational officials at a press briefing.
An Yan, Director of the Division for Student Mobility in the Chinese Ministry of Education, disclosed that 718 Cameroonians have received Chinese scholarships since 1959. Some 269 Cameroonians were awarded Chinese scholarships in 2016.
Meanwhile, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province has a cooperation agreement with the University of Yaounde II. It provides amongst others for scientific research, cultural activities and exchange visits for students and lecturers. Zhejiang Normal University established Confucius Institute Cameroon, which will this year celebrate its 10th anniversary. The institute has ties with eight local universities and several private schools teaching Chinese language.
The University of Maroua in 2016 became the first in West Africa to graduate students in Chinese Language Education. So far, 200 high school teachers have graduated from the programme whose Head of Department trained in Zhejiang Normal University. Meanwhile, Zhejiang Normal University has offered to train Cameroonian civil engineers for free so that they can return home and boost the local construction industry.