(From L-R): Mr Ruben Bakeo Markward, Emalus Campus Manager, H.E Liu Quan, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China to Vanuatu and Honourable Gaetan Pikioune, Vanuatu’s Acting Minister for Education and Training.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Vanuatu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at USP’s Emalus Campus on 26 May 2017.
The MOU aims to enhance the friendly relationship through mutual cooperation between the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Vanuatu and USP’s Emalus Campus, in the provision and management of a scholarship funding called the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship Fund.
Present at the signing ceremony was Honourable Gaetan Pikioune, Vanuatu’s Acting Minister for Education and Training, His Excellency Liu Quan, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China to Vanuatu, Madam Quan and staff of the Embassy, Dr Yang Hui, Director of the Confucius Institute, Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Training, Emalus Campus Manager, Ruben Bakeo Markward and staff and students of USP’s Emalus Campus.
While acknowledging the Embassy of China in Vanuatu and USP, Honourable Pikioune said that there is potential and demand for more Ni-Vanuatu to develop some level of competence not only in conversational, but formally offered Chinese language courses.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Vanuatu, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Chinese Government and its people for their continuous tangible support. The Government also appreciates every effort that USP makes for the advancement of education and training,” Honourable Pikioune said.
Once implemented, Vanuatu students who are keen to study Chinese credit courses at USP can apply for this scholarship.
Honourable Pikioune was pleased to note that students can begin applying for studies from Semester 2, 2017.
The Acting Minister stated that all over the world, an increasing number of foreigners are learning to speak, read and write in Mandarin.
The Vanuatu Government, he added, is also giving priority to this strategy as it expands its trade and other relations with China.
“At this juncture, I express our immense gratitude to USP for sharing the same passion for the expansion of Chinese language and culture in Vanuatu. USP was very supportive from the beginning,” Honourable Pikioune said.
In thanking the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra for his leadership in bringing the activities of the Confucius Institute to Vanuatu, Honourable Pikioune assured everyone that interests in Vanuatu will continue to grow.
In his address, H.E Liu Quan said the event marked a historic day between USP and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and especially for the Emalus Campus.
This scholarship, H.E Liu Quan said, will improve people-to-people relationship in the two countries.
“The purpose of the fund is to deepen understanding between China and Vanuatu so that they can enjoy a friendly and fruitful cooperation,” H.E Liu Quan said.
Mr Markward thanked Honourable Pikioune for support from Ministry of Education and Training and said that it speaks volumes about the importance that the Vanuatu Government accords to the University.
“In particular we note the importance you give to the work we do through the Confucius Institute and Confucius classroom here,” Mr Markward said.
He also thanked H.E Liu Quan and his Embassy for the long standing support to USP by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
“Today we will mark an extension of this support in the form the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship Fund,” Mr Markward said.
The Emalus Campus offers four (4) credit courses in Mandarin. The courses can be taken as electives or part of a minor. Students of the Emalus Campus, who enroll in any of these credit courses will be exempted of the tuition fees, which will be covered under the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship Fund.
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