Going China for study and pursue career in Africa

Chinese universities’ African graduates experiment staff localization in Chinese firms.

Based on interviews collected in Xi’an (People’s Republic of China), Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire (Congo), this article focuses on  training and careers of African students graduated from Chinese universities. The increasing number of African students in Chinese universities is a phenomenon which occurs in a context of strengthened economic and political ties, but also gradual internationalization of Chinese universities that develop new curriculums in English.
The survey shows that African graduates of Chinese universities are generally willing to work for a largeChinese company in Africa, but face many difficulties due to the poor recognition of their qualifications and the fact that the organization of Chinese companies operating abroad is not yet fully internationalized. Therefore, Chinese employers tend to confine them to translators or “cultural brokers jobs”.

The authors

Antoine Kernen has a PhD in Political Science from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He worked at the Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva and currently at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne.
Adopting a perspective of political sociology, his work on the Chinese transition, analyze various aspects of the privatization process. In parallel for several years, he leads and conducts researchs on Chinese presence in Africa. After early work on small Chinese traders in Africa, it currently focus his interest on the impact of Chinese products in Africa and the role of China in a possible return of a developmental state in Africa. He recently published a special issue of Politique Africaine entitled "China Ltd: A business African" (No. 134/2014).

Antoine Guex obtained the Master’s degree in Chinese Studies and taught for several years in Chinese universities. He is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences in the University of Lausanne and write a thesis on Chinese workers expatriation in Africa.

The text

Ce working paper se situe dans le prolongement des rencontres de l’ANR Esca Espace de la culture chinoise en Afrique. Il profite également d’un soutien du Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche supervisé par le professeur Antoine Kernen.


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