On September 23, a forum on language work in higher education institutions (HEIs) was held in Beijing. Tian Xujun, Vice Minister of Education and Director of the National Language Working Committee (NLWC), attended the event and delivered an inaugural speech.
Tian noted that, language work is fundamental to national development and thus a priority area for the Party. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly given important guidance on language work in the new era. HEIs have played a major role in the reform and development of China’s language work, making significant contributions to developing language talent, international education in Chinese, language inheritance and innovation in cultural heritage preservation, and improving language competence among Chinese nationals. HEIs have over the past few years in particular been actively engaged in organizing social work and practical activities for college students in support of the national poverty alleviation campaign. They also offered emergency language services in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating to society the responsibilities of higher education.
Tian stressed the need to enhance language work in HEIs in the new era. HEIs are required to expand their work scope and deepen their research in language, by leveraging their own strengths and positions, in order to strengthen their training of language professionals and provision of language services. HEIs should keep alive excellent traditions of Chinese culture and further develop the Chinese language, with a view to facilitating international communication and cooperation in language work and promoting international education in Chinese. An institutional mechanism for language work in HEIs will be put in place to ensure efficiency and completion of work.
The forum was hosted by Beijing Normal University under the auspices of MOE’s Department of Language Information Management. Heads of 11 local language committees and representatives of over 40 HEIs nationwide attended the forum online or in person.