mandag 13. januar 2020

Foreign Students and China’s Soft Power: The Case of Uganda

In 2019, the Chinese ambassador in Uganda announced that 99 scholarships will be made available for Ugandans to study in Chinese universities. In addition to those who receive financial aid, many Ugandans will pay their own way to study in China. Studying abroad is an attractive option for students from a country whose higher education system is marred by insufficient funding, overcrowded facilities, and insufficient numbers of instructors.

For these students, China has rapidly become a destination of choice, because of its relative affordability, the availability of scholarships, as well as the relative ease of securing a study visa. China employs its higher education sector as a means of gaining influence abroad and accumulating “soft power,” especially in countries that are of geopolitical importance, such as those participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. In the words of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the role of international graduates is to “tell China’s story well and spread China’s voice.”