The University of Sharjah offers a Bachelor of Arts in French language and literature programme after receiving academic accreditation from the Ministry of Education. It is a new programme that has been added to its list of accredited academic programmes offered by the Department of Foreign Languages at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences of the University. The University has offered this programme due to the importance of learning languages at present, including French, as it is a primary international language.
Prof Hamid Al-Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, underlines the importance of teaching languages in the present era, including French because it is a major international language, which is used by more than 300 million speakers around the world. French is an instrumental tool connecting cultures. This language is the fifth most spoken language in the world after Chinese, English, Spanish and Arabic. It is also an official language in 32 countries and governments. The recent demand in the UAE for foreign language learning has made French one of the appealing languages to study. In fall 2018, the Ministry of Higher Education introduced the French language in public schools.
The University graduates of the proposed programme will have a wide range of job opportunities in the private and public sectors. The labour market in the UAE offers graduates of the programme job opportunities in federal ministries, media organisations, the Federal National Council, International inter-governmental organisations in the UAE such as the United Nations, UNHCR, etc., embassies, national security, strategic studies and research centres such as ECSSR, schools, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) offices, etc. In addition, graduates of the programme may also have the opportunity to pursue study programmes leading to graduate degrees. In turn, holding such degrees will qualify them for additional job opportunities in the domestic, regional, and international labour markets.
Prof Hussain Al-Othman, Dean of College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said that the programme aims to provide students with a sound understanding of the structure and use of the French language through familiarising them with the phonological, syntactic, morphological, and semantic systems of French. It seeks also to familiarise students with the principles of language learning and the basic teaching and testing methods in order to become more qualified teachers. The programme ensures that students are provided with the relevant theoretical issues and skills needed for translating a variety of texts and handling translation problems to enhance employability chances. Moreover, it plans to enable students to read and appreciate a variety of literary texts taken from French and Francophone literature and from different periods. It aspires also to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed for effective communication in the French-speaking global community. The programme, hence, shall develop students’ critical and analytical abilities to develop life-long learning skills and qualify them for a postgraduate qualification.
Ms Aisha Bukhatir, Director of Admission Department, indicates that this programme shall be offered in the next spring semester. Applicants should hold a secondary education certificate with a minimum average of 70 per cent, along with passing the French Language Proficiency Test. The University provides a 50 per cent discount on tuition fees for the first semester to students who obtain an average of 90 per cent or more in their high school results.
“I chose to study at the University of Sharjah due to the reputation, academic and scientific status that the university holds amongst other universities in the country, besides its accredited programs that will help me join labor market immediately after graduation.” Said.
Al Kendi added, "The University contributed to improving my practical skills, providing all kinds of support, and access to university facilities, as I am studying at the college of communications, where I benefited from its state-of-art studios, workshops, and laboratories. Furthermore, the faculty members who participated massively in enriching my scientific knowledge moreover developing my media capabilities."
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