Students at the University of Cape Town now have free access to classes in Chinese culture and language.
Professor Wu Qianlong, the director of the Confucius Institute, last month initiated its first class at UCT. The institute was launched earlier this year through an agreement between UCT and the Chinese Hanban (Chinese Language International Office) to teach credit-bearing courses of Chinese through the university’s school of languages and literature and to promote Chinese culture. The course will eventually be available outside the university.
The UCT students were “interested”, Wu noted, citing the importance of learning Chinese for doing business.
“For those committed to learning Chinese, the reward is obvious: it can give them an edge in dealing with an economic powerhouse and expose them to a mixture of Western and Eastern culture.” Wu referred to President Jacob Zuma’s visit to China in August and the increasing business links between China and African countries.