Considering China’s cultural importance and international influence, as well as the fact that Mandarin is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, it is no surprise that the University is introducing it as a degree option for incoming students in the academic year 2021/2022.
A new department of Chinese studies is to be developed, not only with the purpose of perfecting language skills, but also gaining a greater cultural understanding of Chinese culture overall.
Like most other language departments, the Chinese studies department will offer a range of modules varying from intensive instruction in Mandarin, to literature, to film studies and to philosophy and cultural history.
The department is set to start small, taking a limited amount of students to study Mandarin as a degree option.
A University spokesperson declared, “The first intake of undergraduate students will be based on an intake of fourteen full-time students per year to the Joint Degree programme.”
They also added that the modules offered by the new department “will be available for students in the Faculty of Arts with the Joint Degree combinations of Chinese studies with international relations, history, management, economics, film studies and art history to be particularly promoted.
This is an attempt to make the students taking the module have an interdisciplinary, holistic grasp and application of Mandarin in other subjects.
As of now, the University is currently searching for a founding professor of Chinese studies and will appoint wider staff thereafter.
This introduction of an entirely new language to the School of Modern Languages will add an element of diversity to the primarily European languages that are currently offered at St Andrews.
And, in turn, it will offer a new dimension to the University’s global outreach.
With a “contemporary scholarly approach,” this new option is meant to open new horizons to the student body.
Additionally, it hopes to encourage “interdisciplinary teaching and research that ‘looks East.’”The new department is meant to create a space that can be dubbed an“intellectual hub for diverse China-related academic activities that are already happening across the University in other Schools.”