Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication (BIGC) yesterday inked Memorandum of Understanding to establish China’s Confucius Centre in the university.

The agreement was signed to teach and promote Chinese language in Pakistan.

Vice Chancellor AIOU and President BIGC Xueke Luo signed the MoU, while the Chinese institute also expressed its willingness to provide necessary funding, teaching facility and study material for the purpose.

President BIGC Prof Lueke said that Pakistan is first country in the region where they were opening Confucius Centre.

“BIGC is working as a university for the last about 60 years, focusing on multimedia education, and now they have been tasked by the government to promote the language and culture abroad,” he said.       

On this occasion, Minister of State for Education and Professional Training, Engineer Balighur Rehman was also present who lauded the initiative of two institutions following the successful operation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Our friends like China, showed confidence in us throughout our journey and we are thankful to them for their great support,” said the minister.

He also said that Confucius centre should focus on distant learning, as AIOU is famous for it, it should focus on E-learning to make it more viable.

The minister said that many of Pakistani workers while working with Chinese people face the greatest barrier of language, so focus must be shifted towards spoken courses of Chinese for technical and vocational education here in the country.

“AIOU has potential and strength to make it effective due to it access to every nook and corner of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile VC AIOU Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui in his welcoming remarks also announced to open a branch of Confucius Centre at Gwadar.

“The branch in Gwadar will provide linguistic support to Pakistani manpower that is engaged in the gigantic project,” said VC.

He said establishing of Confucius centre is educational response to CPEC that is a game-changer project for the economic prosperity of the country. 

The Chinese delegation that participated in the ceremony included BIGC’s Prof Sheru Zhang, Executive official Zhou Yan and Dr Sajjad Khurshid, a Beijing-based focal person for the project.