Oct 252010

Etxepare Basque Institute of the Basque Government signed an agreement with the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) to teach Euskera (Basque language) and Basque culture at this University.

According to the Executive of Vitoria-Gasteiz on September 30th, Aizpea Goenaga, director of Etxepare Basque Institute and Michael Whitby, director of the University of Birmingham signed an agreement that consolidates the teaching and presence of Basque language and culture in England for the next three years.

Basque bertsolari and translator Xabier Paya will be the teacher in charge to carry out this task.

According to Goenaga, this agreement responds to one of the objectives of Etxepare Basque Institute: spreading the Basque language and culture over the world.

The Etxepare Basque Institute legally started its activities on 7th January 2009. It has the mission of making the Basque language and culture known to the world in fulfillment of the slogan by Bernat Etxepare (author of the first book printed in the Basque language in 1545): ‘jalgi hadi mundura’ (‘open yourself to the world’).

The University of Birmingham is the only one in the United Kingdom that teaches Euskera. Students can learn Euskera in their first, second and fourth year of Univerity but they must spend their third year abroad through Erasmus programme. In this case, the student can continue studying Euskera since the agreement allows him/her to spend this third year in Vitoria-Gasteiz, including the payment of the taxes of the registration to an ‘Euskaltegi’, a public entity which teaches Euskera.

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