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Masters Scholarships in China

With more than 200,000 international students, China is one of the most popular study abroad destinations in the world. What’s more, its government is keen to attract the brightest and best postgraduates by providing a range of scholarship schemes that offer the chance of a fully-funded Masters in China.

This page will give you an introduction to the main Chinese Government Scholarship programmes, their eligibility criteria and how you can apply to them, as well as other funding schemes and an idea of how much a Masters in China might actually cost.

You can also start browsing Chinese Masters programmes or check out our guide to postgraduate study in China.

Chinese Government Scholarships for international students in China

The Chinese Government supports a range of scholarship schemes for international students in the country. Awarded on behalf of the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC), these programmes give talented postgraduates the chance to study a fully-funded Masters at a Chinese university, with the following financial benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Stipend of 3,000 RMB per month (USD $425)
  • Free on-campus accommodation (or a subsidy for off-campus housing)
  • Health insurance

There are several different Chinese Government Scholarship schemes that fall under this umbrella – even though they offer largely the same financial awards, the application processes and eligibility criteria do differ.

Chinese University Program

The Chinese University Program is a scholarship available at over 250 designated Chinese institutions.

This funding can support a fully-funded Masters for up to three years and can be used to study an English- or Chinese-language postgraduate course.

In terms of eligibility, you must be a non-Chinese national, hold a Bachelors degree and be under the age of 35.

You should apply directly to one of the participating Chinese universities, usually between the start of January and the start of April. You’ll also need to complete an online application form and provide the following documents to your preferred Chinese university:

  • A certified copy of your Bachelors degree and academic transcripts
  • 800-word research proposal
  • Two academic reference letters
  • A certification of your physical health

After your prospective university has reviewed your application, they’ll nominate you to receive a scholarship from the Chinese Government.

Find out more at the official Chinese study portal for international students.

Great Wall Program

Administered in conjunction with UNESCO, the Great Wall Program gives international students the opportunity to complete a year of general study at a Chinese university.

Like the other Chinese Government Scholarships, the Great Wall Program provides a fee waiver, living stipend, accommodation and medical insurance.

There are around 75 Great Wall fellowships available for developing member states of the United Nations. You should make your application through your country’s National Commission for UNESCO, as well as getting in touch with the Chinese university you’re interested in studying at.

Find out more about the UNESCO Great Wall Program.

EU Window Program

The EU Window Program is a scholarship scheme that provides EU citizens with the opportunity to study a fully-funded Masters at a Chinese university.

Similar to the other Chinese Government Scholarships, successful applicants to the scheme receive a fee waiver, living stipend, accommodation and health insurance for the duration of their Masters.

You’ll need to hold a Bachelors degree, be an EU national and under the age of 35 in order to be eligible for the EU Window Program.

Applications should be made through the Mission of P.R. China to the EU. You’ll need to make an online application via Campus China and then post copies of the relevant documents to the Chinese EU Mission in Brussels.

Find out more about the EU Window Program.

AUN Program (ASEAN University Network)

The AUN Program is a scholarship scheme for students from the ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). If successful, applicants will be able to study a fully-funded Masters at a Chinese university.

You can apply online for the scholarship through Campus China, afterwards sending two hard copies of your application documents to the AUN Secretariat in Bangkok.

Find out more about the AUN Program.

Chinese Local Government Scholarships

Regional authorities across China offer a range of scholarship programmes designed to attract international students to the local province. The exact eligibility criteria and funding terms differ from scholarship to scholarship, but many offer a fully-funded Masters at a Chinese university.

You can see a list of Chinese Local Government Scholarships on the Campus China website.

Other scholarships in China

Along with a range of Chinese Government Scholarships, there are some more specialised funding programmes run by other organisations including the Confucius Institute and the British Council.

Confucius Institute Scholarship

The Confucius Institute offers several scholarships for students of Chinese culture.

One such funding scheme is the Scholarship for Masters Degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (MTCSOL). According to the main entry criteria, applicants should:

  • Be under the age of 35 (unless they’re currently a Chinese language teacher, in which case they can be below 45)
  • Be a non-Chinese citizen
  • Have a minimum score of 210 on the level 5 HSK Test and 60 on the intermediate-level HSKK test
  • Have a Bachelors degree

If you have an offer of employment from a teaching institution, you’ll be given priority for this scholarship programme.

You’ll receive the following benefits with a Confucius Institute MTCSOL scholarship:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Accommodation
  • Living allowance of 3,000 RMB per month (USD $425)

You can apply online via the Confucius Institute Scholarship website. You’ll need to supply a 3,000-character personal statement, written in Chinese, as well two academic reference letters.

Find out more about Confucius Institute Scholarships.

British Council

The British Council runs a scholarship programme for British nationals to take part in non-degree studies at a Chinese university for up to one year.

You’ll need to be a current university student or have graduated within a year of your application. You’ll also need a 2:1 in your undergraduate degree (or be predicted to achieve that grade).

If successful, you can use your scholarship to study at any mainland Chinese university that is approved for international students by the Ministry of Education.

The scholarship provides a tuition fee allowance of up to 30,000 RMB (USD $4,290), along with university accommodation and a monthly living allowance of 3,000 RMB (USD $425).

Find out more about the British Council’s scholarships for study in China.

Masters fees for international students in China

Typical tuition fees for a Chinese Masters degree will be 29,000-95,000 RMB (USD $4,200-13,760), but exact costs can vary by course and institution. MBA programmes and other specialised qualifications will be at the upper range of this scale.

Other fees

Tuition fees are not the only the only cost you'll have to cover when applying to study in China. You may also need to pay for the following:

  • Application fees – Using CUCAS (the official international application service for Chinese universities) is free, but individual universities generally require a fee of around 610-1,015 RMB (USD $90-150).
  • Visa fees – These vary for each country, but will cost somewhere in the region of 950 RMB (USD $140) for a year’s study.
  • Medical examination fee – This varies depending on where it is undertaken, but is usually in the region of 675 RMB (USD $100).
  • Health insurance – This is approximately 880 RMB (USD $130) a year, depending on your needs and provider.

Accommodation costs

Larger and more modern Chinese universities may have dedicated housing for international students, but private lettings will also be available. Average prices can vary a lot depending on the type of accommodation you require and the prices in your area. Expect to pay between 2,480-3,100 RMB per month (USD $370-460) per month, but be sure to research actual costs in advance.

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Last updated - 05/03/2020

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