Vancouver, BC, Canada, 23 September, 2021 – Working in collaboration with the University of Zagreb, the University of British Columbia (UBC), UBC’s Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies, the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian community associations in Canada, an understanding has been reached to allow high school students in British Columbia to study Croatian through an online program delivered by Croaticum at the University of Zagreb.
Upon successful completion of a course, students will be issued a certificate which can be presented to their high school for inclusion as an external course on their transcript. This program of studies will be accepted towards meeting the second language requirements for admission into UBC. Students who successfully complete a course will also be issued credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS credits are transferrable to university credits allowing high school students to earn credits towards their future university studies.
David Gramling Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern Studies at the UBC Faculty of Arts explains, “Less commonly taught languages like Croatian are no less important to us here in Canada and at UBC than are German, Spanish, or Mandarin. They house countless generations’ knowledge, experience, and meaning, and we cannot do without them. We in the Department, and in the Faculty of Arts, are eager to embark on this partnership, to embolden our commitment to engage and study Southeastern Europe in all its complexity, and to strengthen Croatian-speaking communities and opportunities in British Columbia.”
The Croatian course will be taught by Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language of the University of Zagreb. This accredited post-secondary institution will deliver a synchronous, interactive online course. Classes will be held Sundays at noon and will run from October to May. Croaticum, University of Zagreb, will issue a certificate following the successful completion of each course which lists the course level studied and grade level achieved. This document is then presented to the student’s high school for inclusion as an external course on the school transcript or submitted with a student’s university application.
Ana Bačić M.Ed., Coordinator of Croatian Language Programs in Canada, Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia stated, “We are excited to provide BC secondary school students with both an avenue to study Croatian and to obtain a University of Zagreb certificate. One often finds a lack of Croatian language instruction for secondary school students in the diaspora, and this collaboration will address this gap. It will position BC with Ontario where Croatian has been taught in high schools since 1988.”
Darko Matovac Ph.D., Lector and Research Associate, Croaticum, Department for Croatian Language and Literature, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences explains, “Croaticum is the oldest and largest institution engaged in teaching, research and description of Croatian as a second, foreign and heritage language. One of the main missions of Croaticum is to actively assist the Croatian community outside the Republic of Croatia to continue to actively use the Croatian language, and to remain in living contact with Croatian culture. We are exceptionally proud to have the opportunity to participate in this project, and to add UBC to the list of universities we work with. We believe working with such a partner will enable us to achieve our common goal of strengthening the Croatian community in British Columbia, and to raise the visibility of the Croatian language.”
Katarina Tomas, Croatian language teacher, coordinator in the Greater Vancouver Area stated, “Language is not simply a means of communication, it is part of the identity of every person as an individual. Learning to speak Croatian outside the homeland is of great importance, as this is the only way to preserve our own identity. This newly established programme to teach Croatian as a language in British Columbia is a promising step forward for future generations of the Croatian identity.”
Sessions will commence on October 17 and will be led by Croaticum instructors based in Croatia.
For more information about the program and to register, please visit the following website or contact:
Katarina Tomas, Email: [email protected]
Ana Bačić, Email: [email protected]