Press Release - 21st March 2010 - The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is offering ten scholarships to students from Forum Island Countries to study in China .

The scholarships, offered in partnership with China under the China-Pacific Islands Forum Scholarship Scheme, will commence in the 2010/2011 academic year. This is the second year that these scholarships have been offered. The first scholarships were awarded last year and currently nine Pacific Islands students are studying in China under this scholarship scheme.

"The Secretariat is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to students from Forum island countries," says Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat.

Mr Slade adds: "The rapid growth of the Chinese economy has created many new opportunities for trade with and investment in Pacific island countries. Pacific Islanders educated in China will enhance our people's ability to take advantage of these opportunities. These scholarships are supported with generous funding from the Government of the People's Republic of China, an important regional partner. The students who take up these scholarships will benefit not only by bringing new skills home, but will help the region by strengthening and deepening our relationship with China."

The China-PIFS scholarship scheme falls under the authority of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China through the China Scholarship Council and covers full scholarship under the following categories:-

Undergraduates 4 - 5 academic years
Master's Degree Students 2 - 3 academic years
Doctoral Degree students 3 - 4 academic years
Scholars 1 - 2 academic years

These scholarships are in addition to those available under bilateral arrangements with Forum Member Governments.
Courses are conducted in the Chinese language, and applicants with no command of Chinese are required to take one to two years' Chinese language course studies prior to commencing academic study. Such courses will be arranged by the China Scholarship Council. Students will be required to pass the Chinese language courses before being accepted for academic studies.