Friday, 20 July 2018 | 06:41
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The President of the ULPGC, José Regidor, and the Vice-President for International and Institutional Relations, Rosario Berriel, have completed two long journeys to China and Korea, during which they have furthered the process of internationalising the University of Gran Canaria, expanding the opportunities for exchanges still further.

Apart from the contacts maintained in these countries, it should be pointed out that the Chinese Ambassador in Spain, Zhu Bangzao, visited the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where he was received by the President José Regidor García and the Vice-President for International and Institutional Relations, Rosario Berriel Martínez with a view to furthering collaborations between the University of Gran Canaria and China.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Lorenzo Olarte, who organised a trip to China with a delegation from the ULPGC to instigate contacts in the fields of marine science, oceanography and tourism.

The subjects discussed by the President and the Ambassador during his visit covered the setting up of a Confucius Institute centre in the ULPGC, for the dissemination of Chinese language and culture, as well as the teaching of Chinese in the University’s Language Centre (Aula de Idiomas). Moreover, the possibility of organising cultural activities in the ULPGC with the collaboration of the Chinese Embassy in Spain was also discussed.

In turn, the President José Regidor has informed the Governing Council of the ULPGC of the agreement subscribed during his visit to six Chinese universities, as a result of which a delegation of the Confucius Institute, which is the Chinese equivalent to the Spanish Cervantes Institute, will be located in the ULPGC, in order to disseminate Chinese language and culture. This will be the fifth centre of this Institute in Spain, as it is already present in Madrid, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona.

The first centre of the Confucius Institute in Spain was officially inaugurated at the end of November 2007 in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister of China, Hui Liangyu in the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. The main proponents and supporters of this centre have been the University in Madrid and Casa Asia.

The Institute will aim not only to promote knowledge of Chinese, but also to consolidate exchange relations between the two countries and to foment academic mobility among students. The expansion of the Confucius Institute, which was created less than five years ago, has enabled it to open over a hundred centres in the world’s most important capital cities.

Contacts in Korea

During the trip to Korea, three collaboration agreements were signed with different Asian universities. The objective was to facilitate mobility programmes for students and teachers, as well as short-term visits, which will enable both sides to learn more about the other, learn a new language and spend some time in the other culture.

The first exchanges have been set up with the University of Mokpo. As a result of the agreement signed between the two universities, and with the support of the Santander Central Hispano Bank, two students from the ULPGC have spent a short period of time at Makpo University this summer. “We have seen how attractive this continent is for our students, as we received over 180 applications for these two places”, stated the Vice-President for International and Institutional Relations. This possibility was not only attractive for students of Translation and Interpreting Studies at the ULPGC, where Chinese and Korean are taught, but also for students studying for technical degrees, “because the University of Mokpo has close ties with the major shipyards of the world”, Rosario Berriel indicated.

Together with the University of Mokpo, the ULPGC has signed collaboration agreements for student and lecturer exchange programmes during this academic year with the Universities of Chosun and Kyung Hee.

These fruitful relations have been promoted by the Korean Consul in Las Palmas and by the Korea Foundation, who have made the journey of the expedition from Gran Canaria to different Korean Universities possible and have set up meetings with the business sector in their country. “We have held interviews with major Korean businessmen, who started their businesses in Gran Canaria, and who insisted on the need for our students to improve their knowledge of the Korean language”, said Rosario Berriel “Moreover, as they themselves grew up on the island, they are keen for their children to be able to come to the ULGPC to study”.

As a result of the relations established with these three first Korean universities, next year Spanish lecturers from Korea will visit the ULPGC to teach and to carry out research.

The President of the ULPGC has prioritised this new international expansion of the ULPGC, after consolidating the University’s presence in Latin America, Europe and Africa. “The ULPGC is in considerable demand from Asian universities, as we have many fields of work in common: knowledge of the language, marine studies and engineering”, the Vice-President explained.

 For this reason, the ULPGC hopes that three further collaboration agreements will soon be signed, with the Seoul National University, Hankuk University and Korea Maritime Institute. Joint research work in the fields of maritime projects and logistics are expected to emerge from an agreement with the Korea Maritime Institute.


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