(TibetanReview.net, Jan12’19) – In a move to sinicize not just Tibetan religion but the whole gamut of Tibetan culture itself, China has switched to Chinese language the teaching of even an intrinsically Tibetan-language subject such as Tibetan Medicine. This has currently happened at the Tibet Minzu University, China’s oldest university for Tibetan and other ethnic minority students, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jan 10.
The university was established in 1958 in Shaanxi province’s Xianyang city, initially as a Tibetan public school. It was re-named in 1965 as the Tibet Minzu University. Its current enrollment is over 6,000 students, with around half of it being Tibetans.
The university teaches 11 specialized courses, all in Mandarin Chinese. These include education, finance, information, engineering, sports, law, management, foreign language, ethnic studies, and journalism.
“There is only one Tibetan language class offered as a second language, and one scholarship offered for Tibetan studies in the whole school,” the report quoted a student at the university as saying.
“Tibetan students specializing in Tibetan medicine are facing a lot of challenges and problems of comprehension because their subjects are now taught in Chinese,” the unnamed student was quoted as saying.
Courses on ethnic nationality studies are also now given only in Chinese.
No opportunities are offered for taking specialized courses in Tibetan language.