The University of Botswana will offer short courses in Chinese Language and Culture, beginning in July this year through UB’s Confucius Institute.
The first session runs from six to nine weeks.
These courses, which will be offered to specific groups within the civil service, the private sector and the general public, will include Chinese for Beginners, Chinese for Tourism and Chinese for Business.
Chinese language, as minor or major within the Bachelor of Arts Degree programme, will be introduced in 2010.
Mosetsana Gaetwesepe, the Administration Officer of the Confucius Institute, said there are no entry requirements for Chinese courses.
“Anyone is welcome to apply but we admit only 30 students,” she said.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Gaetwesepe said even working people will have a chance, since the course will be offered on a part-time basis, three days a week, between 6pm-8pm.
“The course will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays,” she added.
Gaetwesepe further said they have hired English-speaking Chinese from Shanghai Normal University to teach the language course.
She said the University chooses to offer the courses through the Confucius Institute as it is a worldwide Chinese language teaching institute.
“It is a well-utilized institute for teaching Chinese in other countries; it is only now that we have started relations with it,” said Gaetwesepe.
The Director of the institute, Dr. Nobantu Rasebotsa, said Confucius Institutes have drawn enthusiastic attention and great support in many parts of the world.
“They have enhanced exchange and collaboration in the fields of education, culture, economy and trade between China and the rest of the world,” Rasebotsa said.
The other reason the university considered is the strengthening of educational cooperation between Botswana and China. To that extent, the University of Botswana and the Office of Chinese Language Council International, HANBAN, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2007.