2020 School Year, Secondary Foreign Language Elective Course
For the 2020 school year at Jin-ai University (in Fukui Prefecture, Echizen City), a Portuguese language course, as an elective secondary foreign language course, has been established. Echizen City and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company, working in cooperation as the university’s endowed chairs, are the course’s sponsors; even on a national level, an industry-academic-government collaboration for a university course is rare. In addition, a Portuguese language course has also been set up for the general public, in the university’s effort to contribute to the expansion of the multicultural community.
The newly-established Portuguese course will be available to first-year students, regardless of major, and as a secondary foreign language course, will receive an official credit upon completion. An Osaka University associate professor will be in charge of the course as a part-time lecturer. According to Osaka University, it is rare for a university, that is not a foreign language university, to offer a Portuguese language course. The course will be offered for four years, during 2020 to 2023; after the four years, the course will be placed under examination as to how to proceed from then. As for courses offered to the general public, in addition to language study, there will also be other courses available, including a course about the history of Brazilian immigration.
Up until recently, in line with the “Multicultural Community Promotion Plan” arrangement between Echizen City and Jin-ai University, programs like “Practical Portuguese Language Course”, for active childcare workers and students aiming to become childcare workers, have been available. This time, as the local university, in efforts to further expand the range of multicultural harmony, Echizen City and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company, which has a significant number of Brazilian employees, will each sponsor a portion of the university courses.
At a signing ceremony in Jin-ai University, on March 13th, Jin-ai University president Shunko Tashiro, Echizen City Mayor Toshiyuki Nara, and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company President Tadahiro Nakagawa all signed an agreement.
University president Tashiro spoke of the contributions towards the local services being regarded as the “depths of education” concerning the university.
City mayor Nara commented on the significance of this agreement “to become a stimulus for the children of foreigners, to strive for university.”
Company president Nakagawa stated, “As a global enterprise, we experience the importance of language firsthand,” expressing the company’s reason for support.