UG to offer Mandarin studies

16th July, 2017 0 comments

THE University of Guyana (UG) and the Dalian University of Foreign Languages (DUFL) in China have reached an agreement for UG to offer a minor in Mandarin Chinese studies and for development of a Bachelor’s Degree programme. This agreement was reached recently when a team from the University of Guyana comprising Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith; Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Planning and International Engagement, Dr Barbara Reynolds; Director of the Confucius Institute, UG, Al Creighton; and Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute Ma Tao, recently met in China with officials of the Dalian University of foreign Languages (DUFL) for the first official meeting of the Board of the Confucius Institute, UG.

The meeting was hosted by DUFL, the UG’s partner institution in China for the operation of the Confucius Institute and it was held on their campus in the City of Dalian, China. Representing DUFL were Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liu Hong, Dean of the Multi-language Base in Dalian for the International Promotion of Chinese Language, Professor Sun Yuhua and Li Fan of the International Office at DUFL. Professor Sun Yuhua pledged the full support of DUFL with assistance from Hanban – the headquarters for Confucius Institutes in China – for the programmes. UG will continue to offer Mandarin as one of the languages that UG students may choose in addition to Spanish, French and Portuguese. Mandarin will also be available as one of the foreign language requirements of the new School of Entrepreneurship and Business and Innovation (SEBI) at the UG.

The meeting was chaired by Ma Tao and addressed by the two vice-chancellors, Dr Reynolds, the Dean of the Multi-language Base and the Director of CIUG. Both universities reaffirmed the MoU already in force between them and pledged continued cooperation, while Dr Reynolds put on the table ideas for areas of future cooperation and ways in which the institutions can assist each other for mutual development. She also reaffirmed the vice-chancellor’s invitation to DUFL to visit the UG for the next meeting of the board. CIUG Director Al Creighton presented the report of the institute, covering its operations since 2014, the conduct of the programme in Mandarin as well as the academic, cultural and social events on the UG Campuses and in the Guyanese community.

He presented the budget of the CIUG and outlined the vision of the institute, plans for its future development and ways in which there can be deeper academic exchanges. DUFL trains and makes available lecturers in Chinese Language Teaching for the CIUG. Although it was historically founded with its strength in foreign languages, it now has programmes in several other disciplines and the UG will now look forward to a widening in two-way exchanges involving areas beyond Chinese Language Teaching.

With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, UG has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The university is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus.

It now offers more than 60 undergraduate and post-graduate programmes including engineering, environmental studies, forestry, urban planning and management, tourism studies, education, creative arts, economics, law, medicine, optometry and nursing. Several online programmes are available and UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

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