MMSU partners with Chinese consulate to put up Confucius Institute
By REYNALDO E. ANDRES
The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) and the Chinese Consulate of Laoag are planning to put up a Confucius Institute (CI) to make the Mandarin language readily available to all Ilocanos, and make them more competent in finding jobs elsewhere in the world.
MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis, in an interview on Friday, said the CI will be one way of strengthening the partnership between MMSU and the various colleges and universities in China, and that this program was well-supported by Zhou Youbin, head of the Chinese consulate in the province.
“This program is to promote the Chinese language and culture in Ilocos Norte, as we plan to support and strengthen the teaching of Mandarin language, aside from facilitating cultural exchanges between the MMSU and some reputable Chinese universities,” Agrupis said, adding that MMSU has 150 Ilocano students enrolled in Mandarin class in its Languages and Literature Department of the College of Arts and Sciences.
She said aside from the establishment of the CI, the university is collaborating with China’s Shandong province, with the help of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte, to pursue a collaborative effort to strengthen agricultural research, especially in areas of smart agriculture, through student and faculty mobility.
Smart agriculture will be one of the government’s efforts to modernize and strengthen the agriculture sector, which involves the promotion and adoption of advanced technology to increase farm productivity.
“In line with this, we are also eyeing to send faculty scholars (to) various partner-universities in China so that they will be educated and learn the modern technology that China is promoting,” Agrupis said.
On September 3, a Chinese corner was reopened at the MMSU main library in Batac City, aiming to bring China closer to MMSU. (StratCom)