Positioning China's aid to educational development in Africa: Past, present, and post-2015

Changsong Niu, Jing Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter aims to investigate and interpret China's educational aid by analyzing its history, philosophies, and practices in Africa. The study is based on review and analysis of governmental documents, reports, academic papers, and news by Chinese and foreign scholars on China's aid, particularly educational aid to Africa. The analysis unveils three transformations of China's aid "from pro-ideology to de-ideology," "from single area to multiple areas," and "from pragmatic economy driven to sustainable and humane economy focused" in Africa. Meanwhile, it indicates a continuity of the philosophy of solidarity, morality, and reciprocity in China's South-South cooperation with African educational development. The analysis also shows China's educational aid does not match well with the framework of the Western donors. China, under the FOCAC framework, is devoted to higher education cooperation, human resources training program, scholarship, and Chinese language education with African partners. With the growth of its economic and political influence, China will play multiple roles as the biggest developing country and as an active promoter and provider for South-South cooperation in the negotiation and construction of the post-2015 agenda. Nevertheless, we assume China will keep a pragmatic higher education cooperation with its developing country partners to inclusively link it with business, technology transfer, and people-to-people exchange. This study delivers a comprehensive review and analysis of paradigm shift, philosophy, mechanism, and practice of China's educational aid to Africa to fill up the literature gap in this field. It also timely presents China's stance toward discussion on the post-2015 agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-299
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Africa
  • China
  • Higher education
  • Mutual benefit
  • Solidarity
  • South-South cooperation


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