October 27, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas—The National Security Education Program (NSEP) has awarded The University of Texas at Austin’s South Asia Institute more than $700,000 to establish the first National Flagship Language Program in Hindi and Urdu in the United States.
Among the most widely spoken languages in the world, Hindi and Urdu are considered critical to national security and in the global market. The Hindi and Urdu Flagship Program (HUF-Program) will train students in advanced language proficiency and professional development across a range of disciplines, including business, communications and public policy. Students from the program will become candidates for employment with the federal government or hold a vital place in the worlds of business, technology or academia.
Students in the four-year undergraduate HUF-Program will take language and content classes alongside coursework in their majors. In the third year, students will study abroad at one of India’s prestigious universities. The university’s Center for Global Education Opportunities will collaborate with the institute in developing the study abroad program.
“With our internationally renowned faculty, innovative educational technology and multidisciplinary curriculum, we are poised to house the strongest advanced Hindi-Urdu language program in the country,” said Judith Langlois, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Professor of Hindi Herman Van Olphen will be the director of the HUF-Program with Asian Studies faculty Rupert Snell (Hindi) and Akbar Hyder (Urdu) as associate directors. Orlando Kelm, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, will join the program to assist with the development of the Hindi and Urdu Cyber Project, a set of computer-assisted, audio-visual materials that draw on the latest instructional technologies. The HUF-Program will enroll about 10 students in fall 2007, with the program expanding to 20 students the following year.
The recruitment of academically excellent high school students with some knowledge of Hindi or Urdu will begin immediately for the 2007-08 academic year.
For more information contact: James Brow, director, South Asia Institute, 512-471-0058; Sarah Green, associate director, South Asia Institute, 512-475-6026; Tracy Mueller, public affairs specialist, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404.