More Zimbabwean students seek education in China

Matambanadzo said lower tuition fees and scholarships provided by Chinese universities also attract many students.

“Technology in China is far much advanced, and students prefer to go where technology is more dynamic. Engineering programs are the ones that attract most students. The most popular program is civil engineering, followed by aircraft engineering, mechanical engineering and software engineering,” she said.

At the FOCAC summit held in Johannesburg in 2015, the Chinese government pledged to provide 30,000 scholarships to African students during the three years till 2018.

Chinese universities have performed well in global rankings in recent years. China’s top universities, Tsinghua University and Peking University broke in the global top 20 for the first time in 2017 in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

In addition, another seven Chinese universities appeared on the league’s top 100 schools in 2018.

Porusingazi, who is going back to China for a doctorate program through the Chinese Government Scholarship University Postgraduate Program said due to Chinese visa rules, most international students cannot stay in China after completing their education.

“This prevents brain-drain, since most students who graduate in Chinese institutions are very likely to return home, unlike their counterparts in English speaking countries like South Africa, UK or Australia,” she added.