[photopress:Fudan_University_with_students.jpg,full,alignright]Japanese students see great value in learning Chinese properly. 32 students are taking part in a five-year academic program jointly begun by Japanese and Chinese educational institutions in 2005. The program, designed to provide students from Japan a good command of the Chinese language to enhance their job opportunities, is sponsored by the International Cultural Exchange School of Fudan University in Shanghai and an affiliate of Oshu Corp., a Hiroshima-based educational corporation.
Under the program, students first study basic Chinese in Hiroshima for four months. Then they move to Fudan University, where they spend three years obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Zhu Yongsheng, dean of the school, said, ‘Through learning the Chinese language, we hope to promote mutual understanding between Chinese people and Japanese people, which is, to me, more important than learning how to speak Chinese.’
A researcher on youth employment said students in Japan are under strong pressure to ‘arm’ themselves with unique skills to give them an advantage in the job hunt. Reiko Kosugi, research director of the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training, said Chinese-language ability seems to be a bankable asset now that corporations are showing signs of improvement and looking to hire.
Akihisa Yamazoe, who heads the overseas studies department at Mainichi Communications, said, ‘About half of Japanese students going to China choose Beijing. Many do so for academic reasons. But if you want to find a job after studying at a Chinese university, there are more opportunities in Shanghai due to the many Japanese companies operating there.’
The number of Japanese studying in China with student visas dropped slightly in 2005 to 18,874 from 19,059 the previous year, the level was much higher than the 12,765 in 2003.
Source: The Japan Times