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Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana

It’s long been said that while China may have an Africa policy, African countries conversely do not have a China policy. In particular, too many Africans do not understand the language, culture, and politics of their new number one trading partner. The University of Botswana, for its part, is trying to change that. UB has one of the most ambitious Chinese studies programs in Africa. Dr. Frank Youngman helped establish the Chinese undergraduate & graduate studies programs at UB and joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the curricula and the difficulties the university’s having in growing its Chinese studies department.

Read Professor Youngman’s September 2014 paper “Engaging academically with China in Africa – the institutional approach of the University of Botswana” where he details the history of UB’s Chinese studies program and the political sensitivities surrounding the university’s decision to partner with the Chinese government to establish a Confucius Institute on campus.

About Dr. Frank Youngman

Frank Youngman is Professor of Adult Education at the University of Botswana.He was educated at the universities of Nottingham and Hull, and the London School of Economics. He has worked at the University of Botswana since 1975 and has been Head of the Depart­ ment of Adult Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education. In Botswana he has participated in a wide range of governmental committees responsible for areas such as rural extension, women in development, adult literacy, teacher education and distance learning. He was a member of the Presidential Commission which reviewed Botswana’s education system in 1992!)3 and is on the UNESCO National Commission. Elsewhere in Africa he has undertaken advi­ sory and training work for various governments.

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