Nepali language study expanding in Chinese universities

July 18, 2017 05:00 AM Sangeet Sangroula


BEIJING, July 17: In what can be taken as a move to further deepen its engagement with Nepal, China is expanding the Nepali language study course in the bachelor's level for Chinese students in its universities. 

Until now, the Communication University of China (CUC) in Beijing is the only university in China which offers Nepali language course in the bachelor's degree for Chinese students. But from coming September, two more Chinese universities are starting the bachelor's degree program with Nepali language study course for Chinese students. 
 
From the first week of September, the Yunnan Nationalities University in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in China, is all set to offer Nepali language study course as part of its newly launched four-year bachelor's degree in South Asian studies for the first time. 

Altogether 66 students have enrolled for the course at the university. 

“After having general study about South Asia in the first semester, the students will be given an option to choose one of the South Asian languages in which they want to major. The students opting to major in Nepali language will then be taught Nepali for the next three and a half years,” informed Li Feiran, a Nepali teacher at the university. 

Li, who has adopted a Nepali name Usha, also said that the course also offers language study option of Hindi and Urdu, among other South Asian languages apart from Nepali. “It's up to the students which language they want to study,” she added. 

According to her, the students opting to study Nepali language will be taught Nepali language grammar, reading, writing and listening skills and also Nepali literature translation. 

Similarly, another reputed university in Xianyang of Tibet, Xizang Minzu University, is also launching Bachelor's degree program in English language study where Chinese students will study English as major and Nepali language as another subject from this September for the first time. Founded in 1958, the university is the first public university established in Tibet, which is also known as Tibet Nationalities University in English. 

“As the university failed to apply for a Bachelor's degree course dedicated solely to Nepali language study, the University made the Bachelor's degree program in English language study an English-cum-Nepali language study course for now even though the course is named English Language study course,” said Lin Wei, Nepali language professor in the Communication University of China for 13 years now. One of her former students has been hired as Nepali teacher for the Tibet Nationalities University. 

According to her, number of the universities offering Nepali language study course has increased from one to three as Nepal's participation in the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is also opening up more and more opportunities for Chinese students. She also informed that the number of universities offering Nepali language may increase in the coming days. 

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