China: Emerging PhD Studies Destination

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

THE rising giant from the east, China, has seen its economy transform from a lowly industrialised State to the second biggest in the world within a short time. Chinese universities have played a key role in this transformation.

By Tinashe Magocha.

First hand academic PhD study experience in China boosts one’s profile due to the high educational standards. This is of benefit to prospective employees. China has become a highly trending study destination. That country’s universities are rapidly improving in global rankings. The ascendance has attracted the attention of top talent from across the globe.

The Sino government continues to substantially fund the recruitment of foreign students. It has adopted various policies that seek to encourage foreigners to study in Chinese Universities. The costs of living and study are much lower than in European Universities. A variety of scholarships and incentives are available for potential students to pursue PhD studies. There are also well remunerating Post-Doctoral positions available for those with the zeal to go an extra mile.

Programmes Choice and Pre- enrolment Requirements

A wide selection of programmes and scholarships are on offer in both English and Chinese. Most foreigners prefer the English programmes due to their limited Chinese background. Students who want to study in China are expected to enrol into a Chinese language programme prior to commencement of the PhD programme of their choice. A good Masters’ Degree class, together with good recommendations from past supervisors, as well as health examination, are usually the prerequisites for enrolment.

Some Chinese universities also require a crime free record and an English proficiency test. Detailed admission information is available from the various websites of target universities.

Navigating Universities’ Websites:

Some of the universities’ websites are in Chinese. This sometimes creates navigation challenges. The best way to overcome this challenge could be the use of Google Chrome browser’s translation function. Universities usually have both a Chinese and an English version to cater for foreigners.

Applications are submitted online after creation of a user account with responses usually prompt. Prospective students/ researchers can also apply for the different types of scholarships through these online systems.

Advantages of the Scholastic Scheme:

The Chinese Government Scholarship scheme is the most popular, as it provides both full and partial scholarships. Applicants may apply for scholarship through education authorities, designated institutions or Chinese diplomatic missions in their respective home countries. Each province has its individual scholarships that foreigners may apply for, annually.

Municipalities and individual companies also offer scholarships to support international students pursuing their PhD degrees.

Recently, the Belt and Road initiative has also led to scholarships being availed to member countries. University scholarships are also common, with most offering free tuition, accommodation and a living allowance for students. PhD scholarships often cover part of, and sometimes all of the following exemptions; registration fees, tuition fees, accommodation and living allowance. Costs of the laboratory experiment or internship, as well as monthly allowances, are granted to students through host institutions.

China offers numerous options for one to pursue their PhD degree and is a choice being taken advantage of by many students from all over the world.

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