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Mr Shaaban and Professor Breakwell celebrate the new Memorandum of Understanding ???
Mr Shaaban M Shaaban and Professor Breakwell celebrate the new Memorandum of Understanding

Press Release - 19 February 2009

UN pledges new language links with University

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General visited the University of Bath yesterday (Wednesday 18 February) to commit to an outreach training programme for language students at the University.

Mr Shaaban Mohammed Shaaban toured the University’s interpreting and translation facilities, meeting staff and students in the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pledge professional links between the two institutions.

He attended a reception with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, and later explained to staff and students the extra importance of the Memorandum of Understanding in the context of a worldwide shortage of language staff.

Mr Shaaban M Shaaban said: “The University of Bath has an excellent reputation in language training for interpreters and translators. I am impressed by its language laboratories and the quality of its teaching staff, both inhouse and visiting from abroad.

“There are so many opportunities for implementing this Memorandum: for students from Bath to work at the UN and for the UN to send trainers in interpreting and translation. The sky is the limit.”

Mr Shaaban M Shaaban expressed his hope that the opportunities stemming from the scheme would encourage language students to consider a career in the UN and to sit for the UN professional language exams.

Professor Breakwell said: “Working closely with the UN gives our students state of the art knowledge and the opportunity for high quality placements that mean they have a ‘Rolls Royce’ experience. It’s innovative, practical and important in political terms.

“At a time when interest in language studies at school level has been declining, but when international communication is arguably more important than ever, it is essential to ensure that interpreting and translation attract the highest-calibre linguists.

“The University is strongly committed to this flagship professional training programme, and its graduates provide a high quality service to the international and national public sector as well as the commercial world globally.”


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