By Lincoln G. Peters
The University of Liberia has revealed plan to introduce a Bachelor’s degree program in Chinese Language and Culture.
The program is to be offered through the Amos Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Confucius Institute at the University.
The decision followed a petition by Dr. Josephus M. Gray, Dean of the Amos Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities to the Faculty Senate for a BA degree program in Chinese language and culture.
In a communication released on Friday, August 18, 2023, the University revealed that on August 15th and 17th respectively, 2023, administration met with the Academic Coordination Committee (ACC) and the Faculty Senate, in which the Amos Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities and Confucius Institute participated, and petitioned the UL to elevate the Chinese language and culture program to a bachelor degree level.
The release details that during the meeting, Assistant Professor Dexter S. Sumo, Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia, explained that the overall goal of the undergraduate program is to establish teaching and understanding of the Chinese language and cultural exchange that will contribute significantly to Liberia’s educational system by addressing language barrier issues.
Asst. Prof. Sumo added that the aim of teaching Chinese language and culture is to make the University of Liberia an academic environment where students can obtain a career education in Chinese Language and Culture that will expose them to challenges and opportunities, to further global peace and understanding through educational, economic and cultural exchanges.
He added that the objective of teaching the Chinese language and culture to students at the University of Liberia and all interested persons in the Republic of Liberia is to teach all other aspects of Chinese experience that he viewed as appropriate and beneficial to the country.
According to Dr. Sumo, recent increase in Chinese investments in the Liberian economy coupled with growing number of Liberian students, scholars, and professionals seeking higher education and training in China, indicate a high demand for professional Chinese language speakers.
Stating that it’s against this backdrop that the Confucius Institute has decided to propose a Bachelor degree program to satisfy said demand.
He said the University has local and international instructors at the Confucius Institute, offering courses that prepare students for the degree program.
“We have local and international instructors at the Confucius Institute offering courses that prepare students for diploma, certificate, and a minor in Chinese Language.
The institute has experts in fields apart from the Chinese language who are willing to devote quality time to building up students’ future career needs.
Classes are conducted on both Capitol Hill and Fendall campuses of the University of Liberia”, he added.
The Confucius Institute at the UL is named after a great Chinese scholar, philosopher and educator, who lived in the Third Century BC. Today, Confucius remains one of China’s most influential individuals because of his ideas for establishing a strong and viable Chinese society.
The Confucius Institute was established here in December 2008 through joint effort of the cooperative partnership between Changsha University of Science and Technology and the University of Liberia.
For more than 10 years, warmly welcomed by Liberian, the UL Confucius Institute has greatly promoted Sino-Liberian educational and cultural exchanges, cooperation, and making contributions to the outstanding friendship between the two peoples. More than 150 students have graduated from the Institute with certificates, diplomas, and minors respectively, and some have gone for further studies. Editing by Jonathan Browne