The China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre (CAECERC) presented scholarships to eleven (11) Midlands State University students as part of its China-Zimbabwe scholarship initiative.
The scholarship presentation ceremony was held at the University’s Gweru Main Campus on the 22nd of April 2021.
Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N Muzvidziwa said the CAECERC scholarship programme was a testament to the close ties between the Republic of China and Zimbabwe.
Professor Muzvidziwa applauded CAECERC for its timely intervention, which he said was coming at a time when a lot of parents and guardians have been plagued by COVID-19 induced economic hardships that have seen them struggling to pay fees for students. While in some instances, students have been orphaned due to COVID-19, and HIV and AIDS related deaths, adversely affecting their ability to continue with their education.
“We thank the China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre for taking up this noble cause. It is quite evident that the COVID-19 pandemic and HIV and AIDS have posed severe challenges in various sectors of the economy, resulting in a very high population of young men and women becoming orphans as the pandemic continues to weed out parents and guardians. The effect on the education sector has been that many students that are gifted intellectually have failed to advance their educational paths to meaningful vocational and professional ends,” said the Vice-Chancellor.
He further commended CAECERC for its efforts to break the link between family background and educational achievement, by ensuring that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and professional aspirations.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, CAECERC Chairman, Mr Ke Zhao, said his organisation has been working with many young people from Zimbabwe over the years through various cultural and educational exchange programmes, with hundreds of students having already benefited from the programme. He said currently, there are ten (10) Zimbabwean students studying in China under the Chinese Government sponsored programme. However, CAECERC had decided to also extend the scholarship programme to local students already enrolled at local universities.
MSU beneficiaries of the CAECERC scholarship programme are drawn from various faculties across the University and will have their full fees paid by the organisation.
Among those who attended the handover ceremony were CAECERC Managing Director, Mr E Sanyanga, Deputy General Manager, Mr D Rushambwa, Project Officers, Ms A Chembe and Ms M Dlamini. Members of the University community included the Executive Dean of Students, Ms F Chakauya, the Executive Dean of Commerce, Mrs M Mugwati, and SRC representative, Honourable Saddam Saungweme, as well as the scholarship beneficiaries.