SOME 122 Solomon Islands’ students would be making their way to China soon to study in universities there. The number includes 91 students who were transferred from Taiwanese universities last year.
In preparing them for their new environment, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Solomon Islands last Thursday held a virtual dialogue for the Solomon Islands students and Chinese universities in Honiara.
His Excellency Ambassador Li Ming, the Hon. Minister Lanelle Tanangada of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) and teachers from four top-level Chinese universities took part in the video conferencing.
The Chinese institutions, which took part in last week’s virtual dialogue, are the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing Language and Culture University, Jilin University, and Southern Medical University, a statement issued by the Press Office of the PRC’s Embassy in Honiara, said.
The statement said more than 30 Solomon Islands students attended the virtual dialogue.
The event was hosted by Counsellor Yao Ming of the Chinese Embassy.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Li warmly welcomed Hon. Minister Tanangada and the Solomon Islands students as well as appreciating teachers from Chinese universities for participating in the dialogue.
Ambassador Li said “China attaches great importance to education cooperation with Solomon Islands. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in September 2019, the two countries have reached an agreement on transferring Solomon Islands students from Taiwan province to Mainland China.”
“This year, China continued to offer government scholarships to Solomon Islands students. In order to promote a better understanding of Solomon Islands students on admission policies, study, and life in Chinese universities, the Chinese Embassy specially invited teachers from four Chinese universities to join this virtual dialogue.
“The Chinese Embassy will continue to closely watch the pandemic situation, and try its best to help Solomon Islands students to travel to China,” the statement said.
Ambassador Li highlighted the historic significance of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and briefed China’s development achievements, great potential, and bright prospects.
Ambassador Li encouraged Solomon Islands students not only to improve their professional skills and scientific attainments, but also learn China’s experience of development when they go to China, and serve as a bridge of friendship between our two peoples.
Minister Tanangada expressed her sincere appreciation to the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese universities participating in the virtual dialogue.
“The dialogue has increased Solomon Islands students’ understanding of China and Chinese universities, and raised confidence of students and their parents as well as family members during the pandemic time.
“The detailed presentations and answers made by Chinese teachers are just proof of the quality and hospitality of Chinese universities. Solomon Islands Government is willing to cooperate with China in the education area and to increase exchanges and mutual understanding for the development of bilateral relations between the Solomon Islands and China,” the Minister said.
Teachers from the four Chinese universities gave presentations on China’s COVID-19 control policies, enrollment arrangements, and scholarship grants, and answered questions on students’ status and credit points management and course selections.
Solomon Islands students who attended the virtual dialogue also expressed sincere gratitude to what they described as “the timely and helpful information” provided by Chinese teachers. The information enabled them to feel the enthusiasm and sincerity of Chinese universities.
The students also acknowledged the Chinese Embassy for hosting such an event and promised to keep in touch with their respective universities for an early trip to China.
The Chinese government this year offered 31 new scholarships for Solomon Islands’ students in addition to 91 students transferred from Taiwan.
By Alfred Sasako