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Could Ireland become a leading country for studying Chinese?

That’s what Trinity hopes, thanks to its new M.Phil and Centre for Asian Studies.

Vice Premier of China Ma Kai shakes hands with Taoiseach Enda Kenny a year ago
Vice Premier of China Ma Kai shakes hands with Taoiseach Enda Kenny a year ago
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE TIES BETWEEN China and Ireland are growing thanks to two new initiatives being introduced by Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The university has just announced a new Masters in Chinese Studies and the opening of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, which it says “aim to advance Chinese scholarship and to promote Ireland as a leading knowledge centre for pan-Asian language studies and research”.

Encouraging links

Alan Hobbs of Enterprise Ireland said that “anything that encourages more links between Ireland and China will ultimately benefit business links in the future”.

He said that Enterprise Ireland promotes Ireland as a destination for third and fourth level education, as “foreign students here become future business contacts”.

The M.Phil was enabled thanks to a philanthropic donation by Dr Sam Lam, a Trinity alumnus from Hong Kong.

Minister for Education and Skills O’Sullivan described the initiatives as “important developments in promoting partnerships with China”. She is currently on an Education in Ireland mission to China organised by Enterprise Ireland.

TCD’s new Masters Programme will focus on China today and during the last century and is an interdisciplinary two-year taught M.Phil.

The university said that the new MA programme “aims to produce graduates equipped with the intellectual and transferable skills for future careers requiring a strong knowledge of contemporary China”.

Meanwhile, the multi-disciplinary Trinity Centre for Asian Studies (TCAS) will act as the “institutional ‘home” for Chinese Studies.

The centre, located in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences,  aims to promote Asian studies nationally and internationally, and in doing so, “to become an Irish leading knowledge-centre for policy-makers, business leaders and scholars in the field”.

Part of a modern education

Professor Juliette Hussey, Vice President for Global Relations at Trinity College Dublin, said that TCD has had strong links with China for most of its history.

Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, Professor Lorna Carson explained: “We see Chinese Studies as a vital part of a modern Trinity education; a unique and vibrant educational experience which equips its students to be global citizens.”

The M.Phil in Chinese Studies also incorporates a semester at one of Trinity’s partner universities.

The new multi-disciplinary Masters programme will involve the recruitment of three new academic staff in Chinese Studies: two Assistant Professors and one Associate Professor.

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