School of Southeast Asia Studies
School of Southeast Asia Studies of Guangxi Minzu University is a college which was spun off from School of Foreign Studies in November 2014. Some of its programs have a history of more than 50 years. In 2001, the college was listed in the first batch of National Training bases of Non-general Languages for Undergraduate Education by the Ministry of Education of China. In 2006, it was designated by the CPC Guangxi Committee as a talent highland for Guangxi to promote the construction of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, a training base for translation professionals of Southeast Asian Languages. Since its establishment, the college has made great progress in education through the concerted efforts of all staff and students under the leadership of the Party Committee of Guangxi Minzu University. In 2021, the college was rated as one of China’s Advanced Groups in Textbook Construction by the Ministry of Education. The Party committee of the college was awarded the title of the Advanced Primary-level Party Organization by the Education Working Committee of the CPC Guangxi Committee, and at the same time listed in the first batch of pioneer units of Party Building in colleges and universities of Guangxi in the new era. In 2022, the college ranked one of the Most Outstanding Units in Women Activity awarded by the Women's Federation of Guangxi.
In education planning, School of Southeast Asia Studies aims at training international and innovative professionals with solid foundation in language and culture of ASEAN countries, reasonable knowledge structure, profound knowledge in humanities, as well as strong ability in self-directed learning, thinking, innovation and cross-cultural communication, so as to meet the needs of development of Guangxi, China and ASEAN.
The college has 58 full-time Chinese faculty and staff, including 48 teachers, 12 with senior professional titles and 24 with PhDs. There are 853 undergraduate students, 60 master students, 9 Chinese doctoral students and 4 overseas doctoral students. The undergraduate program adopts the “2 + 0.5 + 1.5” training mode, in which students of various majors would study in the target language countries in the fifth semester.
School of Southeast Asia Studies now offers undergraduate programs in languages of seven ASEAN countries, namely Vietnamese, Lao, Thai, Cambodian, Burmese, Indonesian and Malaysian. The college has master's programs under 5 directions, namely Asian and African Languages and Literature, Thai Translation, Thai Interpretation, Vietnamese Translation and Vietnamese Interpretation. It also has a doctoral program under the subject of Foreign Languages and Literature. In 2005 and 2006, Vietnamese and Lao programs were successively approved as top-quality programs in Guangxi. In 2007, the program cluster of Southeast Asian languages was listed in the development projects for feature programs (Class II). In 2011, the Vietnamese program was approved as a construction project for feature programs and curriculum integration of colleges and universities in Guangxi, and in 2013, it was listed in the first batch of comprehensive reform pilots of undergraduate programs in Guangxi under the Undergraduate Teaching Project launched by the Ministry of Education of China. In 2014, the programs of Vietnamese, Lao, Burmese and Indonesian were listed in the development projects for advantageous and feature programs of colleges and universities in Guangxi. In 2019, Vietnamese and Thai undergraduate programs were listed in the development projects of the first-class undergraduate program. In terms of discipline construction, in 2003, its Asian and African Languages and Literature was designated as a key discipline in Guangxi. At present, its Foreign Languages and Literature is a first-class discipline in Guangxi.
All of the full-time teachers have experiences of studying in Southeast Asian countries. At present, young and middle-aged teachers are the main forces in the college. The staff are committed to teaching reform and have made remarkable achievements. In 2005, as a teaching reform project of higher education in the new century, the project Open Training Mode for Professionals of Non-general Foreign Languages in Undergraduate Education, which was based on the “3 + 1” training mode (three years in China and one year in target language country), won the first prize of the teaching achievement award of Guangxi and the second prize of the teaching achievement award of China, marking the first time that a project on non-general foreign language was given a prize of teaching achievement award in China. More than 10 projects have been approved as education reform projects at the provincial and ministerial levels. Two projects won the first prize and one project won the second prize of the teaching achievement award of Guangxi. For a long time, to meet the needs of professional training, the teaching staff have published dozens of cutting-edge and high-quality textbooks for non-general language teaching that reflect the discipline advantages and characteristics of Guangxi Minzu University. Compared with similar teaching materials in China, the textbooks compiled by the staff in School of Southeast Asia Studies stood out in quality, and most of them have been awarded prizes of outstanding social science research achievements, outstanding research achievements on non-general foreign languages and outstanding teaching achievements at the school level, provincial level and national level. In 2010, the Vietnamese teaching team was rated as the outstanding teaching team of colleges and universities in Guangxi.
The staff of the college are committed to the research on the languages, literature, culture and national circumstance of ASEAN countries. In recent years, 9 research projects have been sponsored at the national level; about 10 projects have gained sponsor at the provincial and ministerial levels; and more than 10 academic books have been published. With language advantages, the staff have been actively implementing the initiative of Chinese Culture Going Global and striving to tell Chinese stories in international exchanges. Through the translation of Chinese cultural classics and books publicizing China, the teaching team has made unique contributions to the internationalization of Chinese culture, the exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries, the promotion of People-to-People Connectivity, as well as the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. The translation projects participated by the staff have been listed in the Belt and Road series of Library of Chinese Classics, the Wisdom of the East series, the Keywords to Understand Chinese series and the Zhuang Classics series, which have had a great impact at home and abroad, and have been highly recognized by the leaders and peer experts of ASEAN countries.
For a long time, the college has been providing language services and voluntary services in important international events. Since 2003, more than 3000 teachers and students have been sent to offer translation, liaison and volunteer services for hundreds of international cultural exchange activities, including China-ASEAN Expo and its related activities, as well as high-level training courses for government leaders of ASEAN countries organized by the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee, China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong, China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong Yan'an and other units. The professional and diverse social services have won the college a good reputation, which further stimulates and motivates all teachers and students to provide more intellectual support for the exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN, and for building Nanning into an international city facing ASEAN. Guangxi Minzu University has now become the cradle of envoys for cultural exchanges between the people of China and ASEAN countries.
So far, more than 3200 students have graduated from the college and are working in various fields such as diplomacy, military, media, education, scientific research, finance, trade, tourism and so on. Many of them have served as translators or interpreters for national leaders, and many have become the backbones and even mainstays in relevant fields, making due contributions to China's international cultural exchanges, as well as to local and national economic development in their own ways.
China has embarked on a new journey to achieve the second centenary goal. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the teachers and students of all ethnic groups in School of Southeast Asia Studies will continue to forge a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation. Focusing on the fundamental emphasis of morality education, all the teachers and students unite as one and blaze new trails to implement the initiatives of the Party Committee at the higher levels, striving to train qualified personnel for socialist construction and to make greater achievements in the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.