THE DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY BRIDGES SOUTH AFRICA AND CHINA
By: Mncedisi Goge
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Fujian Agriculture and Forest University from China have finally got into bed with each other. This after the signing and unveiling of the Confucius Institute that will now be part of the DUT, was held at Ritson Campus, yesterday.
Among the dignitaries present were, Professor Ye Huiling and Confucuis Institute Director, Ms Xu Lin from China. Representing DUT was Vice Chancellor, Professor Ahmed Bawa and Eric Apelgren, Head of Department – International and Governance Relations at eThekwini Municipality.
Prof Bawa said that this was a great platform for the university and residents of Durban. “This is not for the Language Department only, but we will open doors to every student interested. We will be offering courses to the community as well and not just DUT students,” said Bawa.
Ms. Xu Lin said she was also pleased with this partnership and sees it as a bridge between South Africa and China. “We will do our best to support you. Our students will come here and your students will go to China as well,” Ms Lin mentioned.
The city of Durban was also thrilled with this partnership and said the city has also signed a sister agreement with another city in China. “I am looking forward to the Confucius Institute teaching our youth the importance of language,” said Eric Apelgren, Head of Department for International and Governance Relations at the eThekwini Municipality.
The Confucius Institute was named after the Chinese philosopher of Chinese history, Confucius born 551-BC. Bongani Khanyile, a third year Fine Arts student from DUT said that he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to do an artwork of such a great individual.
“I am happy, I feel good about myself and this will open doors for me as they will take this piece of art back to China with them.”
This partnership is set to reap rewards in the next two to three months.