Togo Launches 1st Faculty of Chinese Language Studies

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2020-01-08 09:28:43 

Togo’s University of Lome(UL) recently set up its 1st Faculty of Chinese Language Studies with 21 students first enrolled. It represents the launch of the 1st university Faculty of Chinese Language Studies in the Western African country Togo. The newly launched major represents a shift of Chinese language learning at Togo’s colleges and universities from being credit elective to professional.

At the moment, the teaching activities are undertaken by the Confucius Institute at UL in Chinese and Togolese language to ensure both practical use and students’ interest in Chinese language studies. The Confucius Institute at UL has provided Chinese language training for over 7000 students since its founding 10 years ago, cultivating a great many talents in Chinese language for Togo.

Koffi AKPAGANA, Minister of Higher Education and Research of Togo, said that the Faculty of Chinese Language Studies would become a platform for China-Togo education research cooperation, cultural exchanges as well as intercollegiate exchanges and cooperation. He added that it would help strengthen China-Togo and China-Africa exchanges and build closer ties between the two countries.

“As African-China cooperation deepens, many Chinese firms that invest in Africa need local employees who can speak Chinese. ”said UL's second vice-president Doctor Kafui Kpegba. The graduates of the Confucius Institute at UL are favored by Chinese firms. Most graduates take jobs in Chinese firms in Togo and its neighboring countries, receiving salaries twice those of average college graduates. The launch of the faculty came at a time when there has been a growing need for a official diploma in Chinese language and China-Togo cooperation has been deepening in recent years, she said.

Roland, who had been a freshman in Faculty of Physics at UL, resolutely switched his major when he learned of the launch. He said that he has interest in further studying Chinese all the time. It is his dream to receive more systematic and complete Chinese language education and now his dream come true, he added. Simla, a local student who had studied Chinese language in the Confucius Institute at UL, said that a good command of Chinese would not only mean a decent job but also help his own country by drawing on China’s experience in rapid development.

Story by Lv Qiang, People’s Daily, Page 3, January 3, 2020

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