Through the initiative of the UNESCO Chair for Threats to Cultural Heritage and coordinated by Associate Professor Eleni Avramidou of the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) in China and member of the chair's governing committee, the Ionian University, in the context of the expansion of international academic collaborations, systematically pursued the introduction of Chinese studies by promoting in principle the introduction of Chinese language courses to the its students. As a result, on 20.02.2023, an agreement for the provision of Chinese language teachers was signed at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs between the Ionian University and the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) of the Ministry of Education of China. The agreement was signed for the Foundation by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Aikaterini Kampasi and co-signed by the Director of the UNESCO Chair Professor Stavros Katsios and the President of the Department of Foreign Languages Translation and Interpreting Associate Professor Ioannis Karras, both acting as implementing bodies of the agreement.
The agreement is already in the final stage of implementation after the appointment of a Chinese language professor by CLEC and her official invitation by the UNESCO Chair of the Ionian University through the Greek Embassy in Beijing. It already ensures during the academic year 2023/2024 and the two following academic years the provision of a high level of linguistic knowledge in the Chinese language and an in-depth study of Chinese writing, with multiple benefits for the academic community of the Ionian University and more broadly for Greek higher education.
The program which is carried out in the context of the academic program of the Department of Foreign Languages Translation and Interpreting of the Ionian University concerns both the conduct of Chinese language courses for the students of the entire Institution and the organization of language workshops and cultural exchanges, as well as the development and evaluation of relevant study programs.