.... During the first three years of study, lectures will be undertaken at the University of Liberia, while the last year will be in China provided that the students meet the requirements.
The University of Liberia (UL) has officially launched its Chinese language degree program, signaling its commitment to preparing Liberians for an increasingly interconnected world.
The decision by the University, which runs an elective program in Chinese language and Culture, comes at a time when China's global influence continues to grow due to its rapid economic growth and technological advancements.
The curriculum of the program is designed to cover both linguistic and cultural aspects of China and will provide rigorous training in Mandarin, the official language of China, and is arranged for 3+1 years. During the first three years of study, lectures will be undertaken at the University of Liberia, while the last year will be in China provided that the students meet the requirements.
Fan Erwei, the Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy, noted that the Chinese language is a global language that will benefit Liberia, as it is one of the six languages used by the UN and one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
"Today marks a new day in the development of the Chinese language in Liberia as we launch a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chinese language and culture," he added.
He emphasized that China is willing to work with Liberia to increase the number of language collaborations and highlighted the strong cordial relationship between CIUL and UL, as they have organized several successful activities over the years.
The program, which is expected to be one of the newest courses added to the Amos Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, comes at a time when Liberia's relationship with China is growing stronger. The two countries have enjoyed diplomatic relations for over a decade, and this academic venture is expected to further strengthen the bonds. The degree program is, however, expected to bridge the cultural and language gap that has long existed between Liberia and China.
The Chinese Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia, responsible for designing and teaching the curriculum for new degree programs, was established in 2008 with the help of Changsha University of Science and Technology. Since then, about 1,000 Liberians have graduated from the Institute with certificates, diplomas, and even minor courses students in Mandarin.
Dexter Sumo, Director of the Confucius Institute and an Assistant, noted that the University's degree program will create a generation of Liberians who can actively engage with China in various sectors, from diplomacy to business and beyond, while speaking the same language. He said that the University, since the establishment of the Confucius Institute, has graduated 100 students in all disciplines of Chinese language studies.
"Learning Chinese will not only provide you with a job but also give you the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures around the world," Sumo added.