Chinese studies in Icelandic Universities

In January this year, the University of Akureyri (HA), in collaboration with the University of Iceland (HI), launched three Chinese related courses in their schedules. It is the first time that specific Chinese related courses are tought at a university level in Iceland and is a testiment of the growing interest in Chinese and Asian matters. The three courses are particularly good for Icelandic companies with Chinese ties, which have been encouraged to send their employees to attend them.

The three courses are (1) Chinese for beginners, (2) Chinese modern culture and (3) Doing business in China.

In the near future the goal is to broaden the scope of the project and create joint B.A. studies in Eastern-Asian relations. To further strenghten the foundation of these studeies, a formal Asian research center "ASIS" was formed. It will be a platform for research and education in the field of Asian studies. It is participated that other institutions will join the research center soon. ASIS's tasks will be to hold conferences, publish relevant material and build up dialogue between Icelandic and Asian institutions.

In desember last year, when the agreement between the universities was originally signed, the Icelandic president Mr. Ólafur Ragnar gave speech at the ocation. As well did Mr. Wang Xinshi, the Chinese ambassador to Iceland and Mr. Olafur Egilsson former Icelandic Ambassador to China.

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