[Blueboard] Launching of the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies

Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies leongcenter at admu.edu.ph
Wed Aug 31 15:30:23 PHT 2005

Everyone is invited to attend the
launching of the
6:00PM  --  01 September 2005, Thursday
SEC Escaler Hall



Press Release

The emergence of China as one of the world¡¯s biggest economies; the successful 
bid of Bejing to host the 2008 Olympics; the centuries of relations between 
China and the Philippines, dating back to pre-colonial times--these are just a 
few of the reasons why it is important for Filipinos to understand China and 
engage her for the mutual benefit of both countries.  At the Ateneo de Manila 
University  ÑǵäÒ« ´óѧ , efforts to study and learn from China are concentrated 
in the Chinese Studies Program.

The Program was established in 1987. It handled the University¡¯s exchange 
program with Xiamen University and offered Mandarin Chinese courses using the 
Hanyu Pinyin system of romanization to service the foreign language requirement 
of college students.  Over the years, the Program has expanded its course 
offerings to include electives in various areas of Chinese Studies such as 
Chinese History, the Chinese Economy, Chinese Philosophy, Chinese Literature, 
Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Painting, etc.  College students can work 
for a Minor in Chinese Studies.

In 2001, recognizing the importance of Mandarin language skills in the future, 
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo asked the Commission on Higher Education 
(CHED) to ensure that Mandarin Chinese will be taught in colleges and 
universities throughout the country.  The CHED in turn organized training 
programs for Filipinos teaching Mandarin at the college level.   The reality, 
however, is that while there are many grade schools and high schools in the 
country where Mandarin is taught to ethnic Chinese, very few colleges have 
qualified teachers who can teach Mandarin to non-Chinese.  The Ateneo is 
probably the only university in the country where Mandarin is offered from 
basic to advanced levels.

Chinese Studies as a field of study is not very strong in the Philippines. 
There are no undergraduate or graduate degree programs in Chinese Studies in 
the country.  The Ateneo¡¯s Chinese Studies Program, without having any degree 
program, is already the strongest higher education Chinese Studies Program in 
the country.   It is committed to developing Chinese Studies in the 
Philippines, and hopes to do this through the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese 
Studies, which will be launched on September 1st, at the Ateneo de Manila 
University¡¯s Escaler Hall.

Named after an outstanding graduate of Ateneo de Manila and Fordham University 
in New York, and funded with an endowment from his family, the Ricardo Leong 
Center aims to help Filipinos understand and appreciate China in all her 
aspects, including language, culture, history, politics, business and 
economics, so as to be able to engage China in a constructive way.  It will 
help improve Mandarin-language teaching at higher education institutions in the 
Philippines, and also strengthen the Ateneo¡¯s teaching and research capability 
towards the development of a Master of Arts in Chinese Studies

The Center will organize activities and award funds for four main programs.  
1.  Chinese Language Proficiency.  There are not enough qualified teachers of 
Mandarin in the country¡¯s colleges and universities.  Every summer, the Leong 
Center will organize workshops on education and language teaching for Chinese 
language teachers in the higher-education level.   

Scholarships and Subsidies.  The Center will subsidize Chinese studies courses, 
provide incentives for promising students of Mandarin and Chinese studies, and 
award scholarships to Filipinos who will do graduate work in Chinese studies so 
that they can teach and do research on China from the Philippines.

Academic Linkages with Chinese Universities.   The Leong Center will increase 
the Ateneo de Manila University¡¯s linkages with Chinese universities, 
especially those in Shanghai and Beijing.

Conferences, Research, and Publications.  The Center will organize conferences 
and award grants for research on China and the Chinese, the Chinese in the 
Philippines, and Chinese language training.
Through these and many other activities of the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese 
Studies, the Ateneo de Manila University will take the lead for universities in 
the Philippines to engage China constructively.  

Inquiries may be directed to the Leong Center¡¯s Director, Dr. Ellen H. Palanca, 
at 426-6001 local 5208.  


Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies
School of Social Sciences
Ateneo de Manila University
3rd Floor, Social Sciences Building
Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108
Telephone : 426-6001 locals 5208, 5209
Fax       : 426-6001 local 5280
Email     : leongcenter at admu.edu.ph

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