Academic programs at the University of Liberia received another boost Tuesday, July 5, 2011 with the offer of 23 scholarships by the Chinese Ambassador accredited here, Zhao Jianhua, reportedly the first ever in Africa.
University of Liberia President Dr. Emmet Dennis and Ambassador Zhao signed a formal agreement for the scholarships in the Conference room of the university Tuesday afternoon, recommitting each other to further strengthening the already strong bilateral cooperation between Liberia and the People’s Republic of China.
Dubbed the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarships, the program is specifically targeting the colleges of Agriculture and Forestry, and Science and Technology at the state-owned university with a total cost of US$30,000.00.
The scholarships are being awarded in three categories, including three slots for students with academic distinction (GPA: 3.75); 10 slots for students with academic excellence (GPA: 3.5) and 10 slots for needy students (GPA: 3.0).
A joint committee, comprising representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town, Monrovia and the University of Liberia Administration will solicit, evaluate and select candidates for the scholarships, based on an annual review.
Making remarks after the signing ceremony, the Chinese envoy emphasized that Chinese tradition prioritize education, saying “So good education at early stage for young people is very important.” He said China is pleased to be in the position to provide assistance or support to the human resource development of Liberia.
Earlier, UL President Dr. Dennis thanked Ambassador Zhao for selecting the University of Liberia to launch the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarships program. “Let me also express our unending gratitude for the Fendell Campus”, he added.
He also hailed the establishment of a Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia, which he noted, has encouraged more and more students to study Chinese language. Dr. Dennis: “The Ambassador’s Scholarship that we are inaugurating is like an icing on the cake.”
In July last year, the Government of the People’s Republic of China handed over to the Liberian Government the new Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, outside Monrovia. The campus contains a four-storey teaching and administrative complex, 4 two-storey student dormitories, 5 three-storey teacher dormitories and other facilities; Jonathan Browne writes.