French ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, paid a visit to University of Banja Luka

GeneralUniversity of Banja Luka

The French ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Her Excellence Ms Claire Bodonyi, paid a visit to University of Banja Luka on March 26th 2015, and gave a lecture on the premises of the Faculty of Political Sciences to the students of the University titled ‘21st International Conference Paris Climate 2015 – What are the stakes for our planet?’

After the lecture, Her Excellence Ms Bodonyi was welcomed by Prof. Stanko Stanic, Rector of the University, and Prof. Valerija Saula, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation.
At the meeting organized in the Rectorate there were several topics discussed, such as teaching French at the University, cooperation of the University with universities in France and French Embassy, involvement of the University in the University Agency for Francophony.

The Rector and Vice-Rector informed Ms Bodonyi of the fact that there were more French-speaking students at the University than those studying it at the actual French Department at the Faculty of Philology, which was confirmed by the survey organized within the application procedure of the University for the aforementioned Agency.

Rector Stanic also pointed out that the existence of the French Department at University of Banja Luka should mark a gradual change in the rather unfavourable status of French in elementary and secondary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since generations of French teachers would create a solid ground for reinstating of this language in the curricula.

Vice-Rector Saula added that the University constantly organized activities promoting the French language and culture, the pinnacle of which are Days of Francophony, but also that the French Government provided numerous opportunities for students and academic staff, from the French department in particular, to learn French through various scholarship and grant programmes. With regard to these activities, the University of Poitier has a leading role, expressing their wish to further the already successful cooperation with the University by organizing student and staff exchange within an Erasmus+ programme.

Ms Bodonyi expressed her gratitude for all the activities being implemented in terms of promotion of the French language and culture, pointing out that the benefits of learning French should be felt not only by students, but also by anyone seeking business opportunities in the EU, given the fact that French is one of three working languages of the Union.

Furthermore, Ms Bodonyi informed her hosts that the French Embassy started a pilot scientific project at the University of Sarajevo, stating that the same opportunity might be offered to University of Banja Luka, which was welcomed by Rector Stanic, replying that the capacities of the University would be at disposal to the Embassy in case the project was implemented.