The award ceremony of 2017-2018 Chinese Government Scholarships was co organised by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo and the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways.
No qualified professionals
Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said, "Economic development is important, but this is not enough. We will continue our efforts to support Sri Lankan students in studying in China and training in China."
Yi noted that with many development projects ongoing in Sri Lanka which are supported by the Chinese government and Chinese companies, Sri Lanka lacked qualified professionals to work in these projects.
Currently, there are 80 Sri Lankan students who are studying in prestigious universities across China on scholarships supported by the Chinese government.
Sri Lanka needs these students for the development of this country, and when they return back in the future, they will be qualified professionals to develop Sri Lanka, Yi said.
The ambassador also asserted that recent protests have not affected China’s relationship with Sri Lanka and that China will fully support Sri Lanka in education, science and technology.
“Yes there has been some noise. But this has not changed our friendship,” he said.
Speaking at the event, additional Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Madawa Devasurendra said, "Last year Chinese government offered us 05 post graduates and 10 undergraduate scholarships and as a result we could nominate 15 candidates in the fields of Science, Arts, Management, Medicine and Engineering. This year there are 18 Scholarship holders for 16 Doctoral degrees and 02 Master degrees in different fields. It is a great pleasure to inform that there is a tremendous enthusiasm among students to get an opportunity to study in China under the Chinese Government Scholarships. The number of Application received by our Ministry is increasing every year. I would like to mention that the selection processed is done in a fair, impartial and transparent way and the selected candidates are the most suitable and the most talented people out of the applicants.
"Furthermore, it is happy to mention thankfully the Chinese Embassy started a new scholarships scheme named “Chinese Ambassador Scholarships” from last year, which offers financial assistance to undergraduate students studying in Sri Lankan Universities. Last year 54 students benefitted by that scholarships and this year we will be able to offer 55 scholarships. This is the one and only scholarships scheme offered by a foreign government for the local university students. We already started the process of identifying the students, with the help of Vice Chancellors of the Universities," he added.