Founded in 2003, the School of Foreign Studies of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (ZUEL) integrated the former Legal English Department of Zhongnan Institute of Political Science and Law and the former Business and Trade English Department of Zhongnan University of Finance and Economics. The School of Foreign Studies offers undergraduate degrees in 4 majors, namely, English, Business English, Japanese (Business Japanese) and French (Business French). The School has one academic Master program (Master of Foreign Languages and Literatures), and one professional Master program (Master of Translation and Interpretation). In January 2010, the launching of Business English major in the School of Foreign Studies was approved by the Ministry of Education, making ZUEL the first university to have this major in central China. The school enrolls over 1000 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates. The School attaches great importance to international academic communication and exchange. Each year a number of renowned scholars from the UK, the United States, Japan, Australia, France, and Hong Kong are invited to deliver courses or lectures. The School has established extensive exchange relationships or partnerships with prestigious universities and institutions including EduFrance, Saint Mary's University of Canada, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The School has the following teaching and research components: Department of English Language and Literature, Department of the Applied English, Japanese Department, College English Department, French Teaching and Research Section, Russian Teaching and Research Section, Foreign Literature Research Institute, Second Language Acquisition Research Center, Language and Information Engineering Research Institute, and Translation Research Center. Administration and auxiliary components of the School include Party and Administration Office, Youth League Committee, Students’ Affair Office, Language Experimental Center, the Library and Foreign Language Training Center. Courses including Basic English, British Literature, American Literature, Translation Theory and Practice, Business English and Basic Japanese are named as flagship courses of ZUEL. In February 2011, School of Foreign Studies was approved as the “Demonstration Pilot Project of College English Teaching Reform” by the Ministry of Education.
There is a teaching and administrative staff of 174 members at the School. The faculty has a total number of 154 teachers, including 16 professors and 59 associate professors. Over 70 faculty members are Ph.D. holders or Ph.D. candidates and over 120 faculty members have overseas educational background. During recent years, the School has sent its young and middle-aged faculty members abroad to engage in advanced studies or pursue Ph.D. or M.A. degrees through the university-sponsored overseas training project, “Double-Million Project”. The School has also recruited a good number of Ph.D. holders with a diverse range of background, such as English and American Literature, English Linguistics, Translation, Law, International Trade from both home and abroad to build up its teaching and research capacities, which has gained a reputation in the foreign languages community of Hubei Province and China.
Curriculum and Extracurricular Activities
The School organizes a good variety of extracurricular activities, such as the Shakespearian Plays Club, English Radio, English newspaper, Foreign Language Cultural Festival (including foreign language speech contest, foreign language singing contest, imitation show, movie dubbing contest, encyclopedic knowledge contest, vocabulary contest, listening comprehension contest and interpretation contest). The quality of College English education has been leading among the universities in Hubei Province. Students of our university have won the grand prizes, first prizes, and second prizes in National College English Contest, CCTV CUP English Speaking Contest, National College English Writing Contest, National College English Interpretation Contest and Hubei Provincial College English Speech Contest. In 2011, members of the Shakespearian Plays Club won 6 awards in Hong Kong International Shakespeare Festival including the Best Director Award and the Best Actor Award.
The English undergraduate major was launched in 1994. The employment rate of English major graduates over the past 16 years has been up to 97% and above consecutively. Every year over 90% of the students pass TEM 4 and 88.5% - 98% of the students pass TEM 8. Most of the graduates work in mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Wuhan in foreign languages, foreign affairs, international trade and law related posts. Some graduates become self-employed. Many graduates continue to pursue Master’s degrees in Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Fudan University, Beijing Foreign Studies University and Shanghai International Studies University either through recommendation or entrance examination. A small number of graduates continue to pursue Master’s degrees in other disciplines such as economics, law and management. Some graduates go to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, France and Hong Kong among other countries and districts to pursue their M.A. or Ph.D. degrees.
Launched in 2001, the major of Japanese has been developing very fast. Graduates’ employment rate is up to 95%. A number of excellent students have been sent to study in Japan as exchange students. In June 2013, the major of French has had its first batch of graduates. French major students have been actively participating in extracurricular activities such as annual Foreign Language Cultural Festival. Off the campus, they have also proved themselves in many contests at both regional and national level through opportunities from Consulate General of France in Wuhan and other language training institutions.
The administration and the staff of the School of Foreign Studies are dedicated to the academic construction and education reform. Our mission is to turn the School of Foreign Studies into a cradle in Central and Southern China for top professionals with international perspective and multidisciplinary background who can make important contribution to the development of social and economic causes in the society.