The Chinese studies section of the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University is the only academic institution in Slovakia offering B.A and M.A. program in Chinese studies. The graduates have the possibility to enroll for a PhD. program in East Asian Studies offered by the department in order to pursue their academic career.
The Chinese studies program at the Comenius University was established in September 1988 when first students were enrolled in the program and graduated in 1994. The crucial role in the establishment of Chinese studies at the Comenius University played the internationally well-known Sinologist Prof. Dr. Marián Gálik (Institute of Oriental Studies, Slovak Academy of Sciences), who together with his colleague (Anna Doležalová, PhD.) launched the program. During the first years, two Czech Sinologists, namely Prof. Dr. Oldřich Švarný and Martin Hála, PhD., significantly contributed to the successful beginning of Chinese studies at our department.
In the Chinese studies section of the department the staff includes one professor (Prof. Jana Benická, Ph.D.), one assistant professor (Ľuboš Gajdoš, Ph.D.), one Chinese lector (Shang Yi, M.A.). Prof. Jana Benická, Ph.D. specializes in Chinese philosophy and religion, mainly Chinese Buddhism. Ľuboš Gajdoš, PhD., specializes in Chinese linguistics (especially corpus linguistics) and together with Ms. Zhang Yihong , PhD., the Chinese language lector, teaches modern spoken Chinese language.
The curriculum of the B.A. and M.A. levels includes the full range of Chinese studies, i.e. modern spoken Chinese, classical Chinese, Chinese philosophy and religion, Chinese literature, history of China including the current developments. The aim of the B.A. program is to teach modern spoken Chinese language in order to reach a good communication competence, as well as to provide the students with the necessary background knowledge of various aspects of Chinese society. The M.A. program offers more specified lectures and seminars which provide a deeper insight into particular issues of Chinese literature, philosophy and religion, history and linguistics. The M.A. program includes also language courses which should further develop the Chinese language fluency of the students as well as their capability to work with various texts in classical Chinese.
The Chinese studies section of the department is cooperating with other academic institutions with similar focus in the European Union within the Erasmus+ and CEEPUS networks. This cooperation enables the student to spend a semester abroad (Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary). Besides students’ mobility, these cooperation networks give us the opportunity to invite visiting professors to our department. Thanks to the agreement between the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic and its counterpart in the People’s Republic of China, students of the Chinese studies have the opportunity to spend one year of their studies at a Chinese university studying Chinese language and culture.
The staff of the Chinese studies section has been participating in international conferences and research projects. They have been lecturing in foreign universities and publish they research results in academic journals worldwide.
The library of the Chinese Studies section holds several thousand of books in Chinese and Western languages (English, German, French, Slovak, Czech, Russian) which cover various aspects of Chinese culture. The library holdings were mainly acquired with the financial support of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (Taipei).