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Enrolment in Chinese Courses Surges as Job Opportunities Spike

Source: Vientiane Times

More young people are enrolling in Chinese language courses as the number of Chinese companies operating in Laos reaches an all-time high.

This means there is an increasing demand for employees who can speak Chinese and are versed in both Lao and Chinese cultures.

According to the Confucius Institute, which is located at the National University of Laos, enrolment has surged dramatically this academic year.

More than 2,000 people registered to take the entrance exam for a place in the Chinese Language Department, with Chinese proving to be the most popular of all fields of study at the university, signaling a shift in academic interests among young people.

The number of candidates applying to take the entrance exam has steadily increased since the course was first offered in 2021.

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Figures reveal that the number of students nearly tripled in just two years, soaring from 193 students in 2021 to 562 in 2023.

The Confucius Institute said the friendly relations between Laos and China have increased in line with the two governments’ development policies.

The institute and its development partners have also introduced a bachelor program for Chinese language teachers.

The curriculum aims to produce teachers who can teach Chinese to others, to support the growth of the Lao and Chinese economies in the future.

The course is suitable for students who have a basic grounding in Chinese but is not suitable for people who have no background at all in the language.

The Confucius Institute in Vientiane was jointly established by the National University of Laos and a university in Guangxi, China.

The institute offers two courses, one for people to learn Chinese, and the other is a bachelor program for teachers of the language.

People taking the bachelor’s program will attend lectures at the National University of Laos for two years, and then study in China for another two years.

According to the Confucius Institute, graduates will be assigned teaching jobs in rural areas or in places where there is a need for Mandarin teachers. They can also find work as translators or consultants for Chinese businesses.

The system of teaching and learning is the same as that used by the Chinese language teaching course at the university in Guangxi.

Graduates will receive two diplomas, one from Guangxi University and another from the National University of Laos.