SZE launches free Chinese language course for primary school pupils

SZE_Barczi_Reka_2022_17_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.JPGSzéchenyi István University enjoys increasingly strong and diversified relations with China, in line with Hungary's national economic aspirations. In a further step, the institution has launched a Chinese language course for primary school pupils, with participation free of charge. With this opportunity, the University would open new doors for Hungarian children. The course is still open for applications.

"In addition to its educational and research tasks, Széchenyi István University strives to play an important role in the life of society and contribute to the development of the region. This approach is also the basis of this programme," said Réka Barczi, Head of the Centre for International Programmes at Széchenyi István University, who has previously worked as a Chinese language teacher. She added that the programme, which is now being launched with the support of Széchenyi István University, is aimed initially at primary school pupils.

SZE_Barczi_Reka_2022_17_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.JPGRéka Barczi, Head of the Centre for International Programmes at Széchenyi István University

(Photo by József Csaba Májer)


"With this initiative, we are also opening up to the people living in the region and providing them with an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge. China is the most populous country on earth, one of the biggest economic powers, and its economic influence on the world is constantly growing. In more and more workplaces, Chinese language skills are required or beneficial. Recognising this fact, our University wants to create opportunities for children to learn the language. We believe it is important that in Győr, as the industrial centre of the region, there should be the opportunity to learn the world's increasingly dominant language," said Réka Barczi, who believes that this can be a huge asset for prospects in both higher and further education as well as for careers.

The recently launched course was introduced to interested children with two online trial lessons, and the first face-to-face lesson was held recently.  Parents of children can also attend the once-a-week course on the Győr campus, so they can learn the language too. As the Öveges Kálmán Practice Primary School in Győr is an institute affiliated with Széchenyi István University, students from the school were the first to be able to apply, and the opportunity was then opened up to other primary schools in the city. Applications to are welcome until 28 February.

According to Réka Barczi, language learning itself has a very positive effect on children's development and can open up many doors for them in terms of higher / further education. "The academic programmes offered by Széchenyi István University in both Hungarian and English can be complemented by student mobility programmes provided via our bilateral relations with Chinese universities. Speaking Chinese in addition to other world languages can also be an important advantage on the labour market," the head of the centre explained.

kép.jpgThe students showed great interest in the first face-to-face lesson. (Photo by József Csaba Májer)

The daughter of Károly Nagy from Győrladamér is a pupil at the Öveges Primary School and they were delighted to sign up for the course. "We would like our children to have as broad a horizon as possible and to learn about different cultures. Learning Chinese is a win-win situation, as it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world," he said.

The course is part of Széchenyi István University's efforts to strengthen its ties with China. The institution has already achieved remarkable results in this regard. Three percent of the international students on the 36 English-taught programmes are Chinese, with the aim being to increase this to 20 percent. The institution cooperates with Chinese companies, including Huawei, and is steadily expanding its educational links with China (it has already signed agreements with 16 Chinese universities). Another positive development is that 57 applicants from 16 countries applied for the visiting professorship scheme launched last year. One of successful applicants is a lecturer from Jiaxing University in China, who is due to arrive at Széchenyi István University in February, thus strengthening the links between the two institutions. The professor, who says he is very much looking forward to coming to Győr, will be involved in lecturing on the English-taught BSc and MSc programmes in Civil Engineering.

SZE_Barczi_Reka_2022_01_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.JPGThe course will also introduce the children to Chinese characters. (Photo by József Csaba Májer)

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