After nearly three years of strict border controls, Chinese students are once again being encouraged to study abroad, with Russia being one of the top study destinations.
Scholarship programmes sponsored by the governments of Japan, South Korea and Russia are now accepting applications from students and professionals, according to the China Scholarship Council.
Such programmes have been offered throughout the pandemic, but rigid border restrictions have discouraged Chinese students from international travel.
Under a joint programme between China and Russia, students who specialise in “leading subjects in Russia”, such as aviation and space, mechanical manufacturing and new material petroleum engineering will be given “priority in selection” when applying to study in Russia, according to a document published on the council’s website.
Full tuition will be paid by the Russian side while the Chinese government will fund travel and provide subsidies.
Last month, Luoyang Normal University in central China’s Henan province began encouraging students to apply for Chinese government scholarships to study in Russia and Belarus as part of efforts to “cultivate talent with a mix of expertise and language proficiency”, according to a published notice.
Like many other countries, China has provided scholarships to fund students and professionals to study abroad as part of a government-led talent push. Those who receive government scholarships are required to return to China after completing their degrees.
Meanwhile, high school students who speak Russian as a second language are also being encouraged to study at Russian universities.
According to the Department of Education in Henan, a total of 14 students from the province will be “recommended” to the programme, which offers full tuition for up to six years of study in one of Russia’s 40 universities.
In 2019, a total of 100 Chinese high school graduates from Heilongjiang, Henan, Inner Mongolia and Guangdong were sponsored to study in Russia, with subjects ranging from mathematics, physics and nuclear engineering to aircraft and rocket manufacturing, according to a government document released at that time.