Ghana is leading the population of African students in China. There are more than 7,000 Ghanaian students pursuing various degree programmes in Chinese universities, which makes them the largest group of Africans schooling in China.
Spread across the 34 provinces of China, these students are pursuing courses ranging from medicine, marine engineering, business administration and various others at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
China’s President Xi Jinping, who acknowledged this during a meeting with President Akufo-Addo, promised to increase the number of scholarships for Ghanaian students.
“With Ghana being the African country with the highest number of students studying in China, China will increase the number of scholarships to Ghana,” he said
For example, Hainan Province – the smallest province of China with an about-9 million population – has more than 80 Ghanaian students pursuing various courses of study.
The majority are however in China’s capital, Beijing, as well as in the Guangdong, Hangzhou, Heilongjian and Hebei provinces.
While some are on self-sponsorship, others are on scholarship from Ghana’s Scholarship Secretariat or from the Chinese government as a result of the cooperation between the two countries.
At the just-ended 2018 Forum on China Africa Cooperation in Beijing, President Xi Jinping disclosed that his country will, in the next three years, award scholarships to more than 50,000 African students to study in China.
While it is believed that Ghanaian students who receive scholarship to study in China come back to contribute to national development, B&FT’s checks show that a lot of them take up English Language teaching jobs in China.
Some of them have told the B&FT they make twice the money their counterparts are making in Ghana every month.
For instance, Daniel Asare – who graduated from a medical school in Hainan, a province in China – has resorted to teaching English Language in Sanya, a city in Hainan Province, rather than coming to Ghana to practice as a Medical Doctor.
“I teach children English as a private work; but trust me, I make double the salary a medical doctor is be making in Ghana. So, tell me why I should go back home?
“I make between 10,000 Yuan (GH?7,040) to 15,000 Yuan (GH?10,000) every month through teaching; but how much is a medical doctor’s salary in Ghana? So, I prefer to teach than to practice medicine in Ghana,” he said.
His colleague, Emmanuel Asamoah, had a similar story to tell – saying he is also not convinced he could earn as much in Ghana as he is earning in China.