A greater number of students from China will be studying in Israel’s Technion University thanks to a new multi-million dollar Chinese scholarship fund.
The Hanqing International Education Fund has agreed to pay $8 million in scholarships for outstanding Chinese students studying at the Technion, one of Israel’s premier hi-tech universities. This agreement is valid for the next 20 years and is expected to support five new students each year, with the fund supporting 25 students in five years. The Chinese students who are expected to benefit from this scholarship will mainly be masters and PHD students. The agreement signals China’s positive view of the State of Israel.
According to Technion President Peretz Lavie, “We view the signing of this agreement with the Hanqing Foundation as another step towards our increasingly close collaboration with Chinese academia. The Technion played a fundamental role in the development of Israel, and I am certain that Chinese students studying here at the Technion will learn valuable tools and skills that will help them in advancing the development of their country.”
.The Mayor of Haifa, Mr. Yona Yahav, welcomed the agreement, stating, “Haifa is home to the greatest numbers of Nobel Laureates in Israel. Shanghai is our twin city and we are excited to expand our cooperation with the city of Handan. We are building a life sciences park in the city center, which will transform Haifa into Israel’s number one university city.”
The Mayor of Handan, Mr. Hui Jian, said, “This agreement is the beginning of a greater cooperation between the cities of Haifa and Handan, and between China and Israel. Handan is a city with a population of ten million people, and we are intending to undergo an industrial transformation that will move the city’s industry base from energy, mining and textiles, to high-technology industries centered on computing and biomedicine. We view the Chinese students that will study here at Technion as the future leaders of this process.”
CHINESE STUDENTS IN THE TECHNION
According to a report in the China Daily, Israel is attracting an increasing number of Chinese students. One Chinese student at the Technion, Zhong Weichao, reported, “Until I got here, I didn’t realize the academic environment would be so dynamic. We have classmates and visiting scholars in our lab who are from Italy, Spain, Romania, and so on. It’s really an international team. The coolest thing here is that the environment is very open. You can challenge the teacher by asking whatever questions interest you and they are capable of and willing to answer them all.”
Due to the global financial crisis, both Europe and the United States are cutting funds for international students, thus making it more difficult for foreign students to study there. Israel, to the contrary, is seeking to recruit more promising Chinese students like Zhong Weichao, and is increasingly offering them financial aid. According to the Israel Project, “Israeli universities are highly regarded internationally and are considerably more affordable than their American and European counterparts. Israel ranks particularly well in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. Israel’s Institute of Technology (Technion), for example, ranked 15 out of 500 universities around the world in computer studies in 2011.” These facts greatly attract Chinese students who might otherwise have studied in America or Europe to come to Israel instead.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel