The Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is to offer an academic minor in Chinese beginning in the second semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, Principal Eudine Barriteau has announced.
Barriteau last night told the official opening of the Confucius Institute’s (CI) new building at Cave Hill that the non-profit public educational organization “has been working with the Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics to develop a minor in Chinese to be taught within the Faculty of Humanities and Education”.
The Cave Hill institute was approved last year as a Caribbean HSK –– Chinese Proficiency Test –– testing centre for Chinese language, meaning it would be allowed to confer students with internationally recognized certification in Chinese.
The UWI principal said last night the two-year-old institute would also begin teaching Chinese language and culture courses as part of the BSc in software engineering at the UWI China Institute of Information Technology (UWICIIT), a joint venture with the university and the Global Institute of Software Technology (GIST) in Suzhou, China.
The institute is aimed at introducing Chinese languages and culture here in an academic setting that will result in better understanding and closer cooperation between Barbados and China.
It was opened April 2015 and had been using other university classrooms as “a vibrant component of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus”, according to Barriteau.
“The very presence of a Confucius Institute adds significantly to our academic and co-curricular programming, and it is already proving transformational to the development of our students from across the region,” she said.
The principal said that in addition to those being taught on campus, “long-term pilot projects in the teaching of the Chinese language at two nearby schools, are reaping remarkable success in helping our young citizens to understand Chinese language and culture from an early age”.
The institute had been spending two hours a week at Ellerslie Secondary School, where it has been teaching students between the ages of 12 and 14, while 120 students of St Stephen’s Primary School have received introductory Chinese language and culture classes.