As the government continues to cement its relationship with China, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is playing its part by consolidating the friendly relations.

Eleven academic staff and more than 20 students from the university are set to travel to China to undertake various courses which will enhance their understanding of the Chinese language. 

The Confucius Institute (CI) at the UZ which is dedicated to teaching the Chinese language and culture since 2006 has been seconding students and staff members to academic institutions in China for the past six years and some Zimbabweans are now so proficient in the Chinese language.

This year five groups are going to China with the first group comprising eleven academic and administrative staff who are expected to share experiences and best practices in various areas of expertise with their counterparts in the Asian country.

Speaking at the send-off ceremony, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law Mr Rodgers Matsikidze and some students who are beneficiaries of the programme thanked the Chinese Embassy in Harare and the UZ for according them a lifetime opportunity.

A lecturer at the UZ Dr Herbert Mushangwe has been selected to be one of the judges at the International Chinese Bridge competitions.

The second group of students who are leaving for China is made up of 18 students who have been selected to participate at the 2018 edition of the International Summer School.

Two students from Reekworth School and five from Midlands Christian College are also part of the group.

The third group consists of four students who are going to participate at the 2018 International Chinese Bridge competitions, while the fourth group is made up of final year students who applied for scholarships.

The Chinese lecturers who are teaching Chinese at UZ will also attend short training programmes so that they keep abreast with new developments in their specialist areas.