Birmingham Creates First Full-time Post in Chinese

The University of Birmingham has appointed its first full-time post in Chinese. Wei Jin will coordinate and teach Chinese courses for students in Humanities and Business and will also help to develop external commercial contacts for the University.

Wei studied for her first degree at Beijing University and then went on the read an MPhil and PhD at Cambridge. She is currently teaching in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Cambridge and will take up her Birmingham post in September 2006.

Recently the University launched language courses for business people who need to converse with their Chinese counterparts, as China’s rapidly growing economy means that learning Chinese is becoming a necessity for many UK employees. Professor John Klapper, Director of the Centre for Modern Languages, says, ‘Only a few universities in the UK are able to offer Chinese to degree level. Nationally there are around 600 students studying the language, none of them up until now in the West Midlands.’

He continues, ‘This appointment creates a distinctive profile for modern languages at Birmingham and is a forward-looking investment. It will help to educate our students about an area of the world which, during their working lives, is certain to become a major commercial and economic force.’

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For further information

Kate Chapple Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.