5 Types of China Scholarships for International Students


China is a popular destination for international students who want to further their studies and broaden their cultural horizons. To support this goal, the Chinese government, local governments, universities, and enterprises offer various scholarships to help foreign students finance their studies and research in Chinese institutions. These scholarships can be broadly categorized into five types, each with its own unique features and eligibility requirements.

1. Chinese Government Scholarships

Chinese Government Scholarships are a popular choice among international students who want to study in China. They include nine programs that target different types of students, such as undergraduates, graduates, doctoral students, general scholars, and senior scholars. These programs are highly competitive and have strict eligibility criteria, but they offer full or partial funding for tuition, accommodation, and living expenses.

The Chinese Government Scholarship is the most extensive type of scholarship, as its programs are available in many institutions across China. Some of the most popular programs include the Bilateral Program, the Chinese University Program, and the Great Wall Program. The Bilateral Program targets students from countries that have established educational exchange agreements with China. The Chinese University Program supports outstanding students who want to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral studies in Chinese universities. The Great Wall Program is designed for students from developing countries who want to study Chinese language and culture.

Bilateral Programfull/ partialundergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, general scholars and senior scholars
Chinese University Programfullundergraduates, postgraduate students and doctoral students
Great Wall Programfullgeneral scholars and senior scholars (in developing countries)
EU Programfullundergraduate, graduate and doctoral students,  general scholars and senior scholars
AUN Programfullgraduate and doctoral students (from ASEAN member nations)
PIF Programfullundergraduate, graduate and doctoral students,  general scholars and senior scholars(from Pacific island countries)
WMO Programfullundergraduate, graduate and doctoral students(major in meteorology, hydrology, and water resources)
Marine Scholarship of Chinafullgraduate and doctoral students(from a coastal/island country of South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and its surrounding island countries, or an African, American developing country)
MOFCOM Scholarshipfullgraduate and doctoral students

2. Local Government Scholarships

Local Government Scholarships are established by provincial and municipal governments in China to attract more outstanding international students or scholars to study at universities in their regions. These scholarships are not as widely available as Chinese Government Scholarships, as local governments typically set up only a few scholarship programs for designated institutions. Therefore, it’s important to check if your target university offers this type of scholarship.

In 2018, 15 Chinese provincial and municipal governments established 33 scholarship programs for foreign students and scholars. Some of the most popular programs include Zhejiang Province’s six programs, Jiangsu Province’s six programs, and Shanghai Municipality’s three programs. These scholarships typically cover tuition, accommodation, and living expenses.

Province/ MunicipalityNumber of programsTarget schools
Zhejiang Province6 programsZhejiang University of Science and Technology
Ningbo University (2 programs)
Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
Zhejiang Normal University
China Academy of Art
Jiangsu Province6 programsNanjing Agricultural University(2 programs)
Nanjing University of Science andTechnology
Southeast University(2 programs)
China Pharmaceutical University
Shanghai Municipality3 programsEast China Normal University
Shanghai University of Political Science and Law
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chongqing Municipality3 programsChongqing University
Chongqing Normal University
Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing Municipality2 programsChina University of Petroleum
Beijing Technology and Business University
Fujian Province2 programsXiamen University
Wuyi University
Shandong Province2 programsShandong University
China University of Petroleum (East China)
Liaoning Province2 programsDalian Maritime University
Guangdong Province1 programSouthern Medical University
Henan Province1 programZhengzhou University
Yunnan Province1 programYunnan Minzu University
Guizhou Province1 programGuizhou University
Heilongjiang Province1 programHarbin Normal University
Gansu Province1 programLanzhou University of Technology
Ningxia Province1 programNingxia Medical University

3. Confucius Institute Scholarship

The Confucius Institute Scholarship Program is sponsored by Hanban, also known as the Confucius Institute Headquarters. It aims to encourage students, scholars, and Chinese language teachers from other countries to study Chinese language and culture in China. This scholarship is widely available in many universities, as Hanban has provided Confucius Institute Scholarships to 149 institutions in 2018.

However, this scholarship is only open to applicants who want to study Chinese Language and Culture, Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, or other subjects related to Chinese language. Additionally, applicants are required to submit recommendation letters from the recommending institution.

4. Chinese Universities Scholarships

Many leading universities and colleges in China have set up their own scholarship schemes to attract excellent international students and scholars to pursue studies at their institutions. These scholarships are usually named after the universities, such as Zhejiang University Scholarship, and have different eligibility criteria and application procedures.

Applicants need to find specific programs at their target universities and apply for them directly through the universities’ online platforms. These scholarships can cover tuition, accommodation, and living expenses.

5. Enterprise Scholarships

Some enterprises in China have established scholarships to support international students in specific institutions to boost international exchange and technological innovation. Although this type of scholarship has fewer programs, it can increase your chances of getting a scholarship if the other scholarship programs at your target university are highly sought after.

In conclusion, international students who want to study in China have various scholarship options to choose from. Depending on their goals, interests, and eligibility, they can choose from Chinese Government Scholarships, Local Government Scholarships, Confucius Institute Scholarships, Chinese Universities Scholarships, and Enterprise Scholarships. With these scholarship programs, international students can receive financial support for their studies and research in China, making it easier for them to broaden their cultural horizons and achieve their academic goals.

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