The Chinese Embassy in the Maldives has decided to provide financial support to 15 Maldivian students pursuing higher education at the Maldives National University (MNU) and the Islamic University of Maldives (IUM) under the Ambassador’s Bursary Programme. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chinese Embassy, the Ministry of Higher Education, Labour and Skills Development, MNU, and IUM was officially signed during a ceremony held on Tuesday.

The MoU was signed by Chinese Ambassador Wang Lixin, with Vice-Chancellor Dr Aishath Shehenaz and Vice-Chancellor Dr Ali Zahir representing MNU and IUM, respectively. This year’s programme builds upon the success of last year’s programme, which supported ten students.

The Higher Education Ministry praised the programme as proof of China’s ongoing effort to improve higher education through international cooperation. Chinese Ambassador Wang Lixin, who presided over the signing ceremony, underscored the initiative’s role in assisting students to achieve their educational aspirations.

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Wang highlighted the initiative’s importance in helping students achieve their educational aspirations.

Higher Education Minister Dr Maryam Mariya praised China’s long-standing support for the Maldives, citing numerous scholarship opportunities previously extended to Maldivian students to study in China. “Students from the islands who reside in Malé [City] for their studies will greatly benefit from the financial support,” Minister Mariya remarked, acknowledging the importance of the bursary programme.

Ambassador Wang echoed the sentiment, emphasising China’s prioritisation of educational assistance to the Maldives. She highlighted the myriad challenges students face when relocating to Malé for their studies, including the financial strains associated with food, accommodation, and tuition fees.

“I hope more and more Maldivian students will benefit from this project, which will help enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, especially the young people of our two countries,” Ambassador Wang stated in a post to X.

Under the newly signed MoU, the bursary programme will provide financial support to 15 students, with each set to receive MVR 10,000. The eligibility criteria for the programme, which is now open for applications, include financial need, academic achievement, and the absence of concurrent scholarship awards.