The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, has expressed intention to enrol as a student at the Institute of African and Asian Studies in the University of Calabar.
Pingjian disclosed this on Thursday at the university’s International Conference Centre where he presented scholarship valued at N100,000 each to 47 students of the institution.
The Ambassador, who explained that the scholarship programme would be an annual event, noted that being part of UNICAL would afford him the opportunity to share China’s success story while learning more about Africa.
He added that the event was to commemorate 47 years of diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and China.
On the choice of UNICAL, he said that it was based on visibility and honest leadership, adding that it was among the leading second generation universities in Nigeria.
He said, “The Vice-Chancellor wants this programme to be annually but as a Chinese Ambassador I want to give him and the management team one condition; I want to send application to be a member of the Institute of African and Asian Studies of the university.
“We have very good reasons to be here annually. From when this university started in the 70s, from the records I have, it was founded with only about 800 students, but today the number has grown to over 40,000. This is just one of the many achievements of this institution.
“The Vice-Chancellor knows so much about China and so we chose UNICAL to mark the 47 years of Nigeria-China relations because of the honesty of the leadership and its visibility. UNICAL is a leading second generation university in Nigeria so I’m impressed with the achievements so far”.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, commended the Chinese Ambassador for choosing the institution for the event.
Akpagu added that the university would partner the Chinese embassy for exchange programmes.
He said, “We have just instituted African and Asian Studies and we have been looking to meeting with you to see how we can partner. We are thinking of you helping us to get lecturers from there so that we can learn your languages.
“Our engineering faculty will learn from your science and technology. We will also be sending our students and lecturers to China to learn modern technology.”