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China and India in a “scholarship war” in Sri Lanka

China and India are virtually competing against each other, not just with infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, but now with scholarships.

This week the Chinese Embassy announced the awarding of 22 scholarships for Sri Lankan students, including in the fields of medicine, art, environmental science, archaeology and museology, Chinese Language Teaching, international economics and trade.

“As you may know, each year the Chinese central Government, local government and some universities provide over 200 Chinese government scholarships to Sri Lanka, among which 80 are jointly nominated by our embassy and the Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka. Currently, 58 students are studying in China under this bilateral scholarship program. Therefore, this year we have 22 new winners of the scholarship who are going to China to pursue their further education,” Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, Pang Chunxue said.

India has also been offering scholarships for Sri Lankan students and just recently the Indian High Commission in Colombo announced that scholarships will be offered in Ayurveda and Yoga to Sri Lankans.

India said that the scholarships cover full tuition fees and a monthly sustenance allowance for the entire duration of the course.

China said its latest scholarships will cover the tuition, lodging, living allowance and medical insurance throughout the whole academic years, which values up to over two million rupees annually. (ER)

Picture by Lalith Perera