Since the inception of the African Studies Program, IU has provided instruction in 52 separate African languages. It currently teaches seven of South Africa's 10 national languages. IU faculty have also published more books on African languages and linguistics that any other U.S. institution. In addition, the relocation of the National African Language Resource Center to IU Bloomington -- IU is the only university with such a center -- has served to further strengthen its position as a premier institution for the teaching of African languages.
Beyond language instruction, IU has made extensive connections with South Africa through a range of academic, cultural and legal activities, some dating back to the days of apartheid, when it was difficult for universities to engage in the country. Those activities include helping to establish Khanya College, which helped talented but disadvantaged black students pursue an education at South Africa's best universities, in 1986. That same year, IU also began offering preparatory first-year university courses for black South Africans who demonstrated potential for pursuing an undergraduate degree. In the 1990s, IU started a legislative drafting program with the University of Pretoria to address a need in South Africa for skilled professionals with experience in writing law.
McRobbie hailed the establishment of IU's first-ever South African alumni chapter as another pivotal moment in IU's history of engagement with the country.
"Indiana University alumni are an enormous source of pride around the world, and our alumni here in South Africa, who speak so fondly and memorably of their time at IU, are no different," McRobbie said. "We are extremely excited to be launching this new chapter, which we hope will continue to grow as a result of our efforts t
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