The Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters (ASTI), in French: Ecole supérieure de traducteurs et Interprètes de Buea, went into operation in 1985. ASTI remained the sole establishment of the University Centre until 1993 when, by decree No. 92/074 of 13 April 1992, it was transformed into a fully-fledged university. From its inception, the School has remained the lone government Institution in Cameroon of national and international standards that trains professional translators and interpreters for the public and private sectors.
A cornerstone in the implementation of Cameroon government’s official bilingualism policy, ASTI has over the years distinguished itself as a major player in translation, interpretation and terminology within the country, throughout the African continent and beyond. The School’s activities essentially comprise the following:
- Training of translators and translators/interpreters;
- Research in translation, interpretation and terminology;
- Refresher courses for practising translators and interpreters;
- Promotion of institutional bilingualism in Cameroon.
Over the years, the Institution has gained prominence and repute through the quality of translators and interpreters it grooms. Its products are well baked and equipped with sound professional acumen. The quality services rendered by ASTI graduates, in both public and private sectors in Cameroon and abroad, point to the seriousness of its mission. Its comprehensive and astutely organized programmes are taught by a team of competent and professional translators and interpreters in the country. No doubt, ASTI has, through the quality of its programmes, experienced and assiduous staff, established a niche for itself amongst the best schools of translation and interpretation in the world. It is indeed a place for Cameroonians and foreigners who are interested in quality training in translation and interpretation.
In order to instil mutual understanding between peoples of different cultures and linguistic expression across the world, ASTI aims to position itself as a frontline player in translation, interpretation, terminology and intercultural studies in Africa. It will achieve this mission through training, research, consultancy and community outreach in the areas of translation, interpretation, terminology, bilingualism and intercultural communication.
The School will seek to conform with the current trends of curriculum needs in Cameroon and the world over, which indicate preference for more diversified training options in terms of language combination and areas of specialisation as well as for the strict implementation of the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. or BMP system. In this regard, it will need to achieve the following objectives:
- Review the existing programme structure in conformity with the requirements of the BMP system and current market needs (2007-2009);
- Organise and equip Division III to enhance the School’s capacity to achieve its mission in matters of bilingualism and interculturality, and thus provide an increased input in view of the promotion of official bilingualism in English and French as well as translation from/into national languages (from 2008);
- Introduce a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Translation and Intercultural Studies from 2008-2009;
- Attract more trainees from both Cameroon and abroad, including working students, through more flexible programme structures (by 2010);
- Organise refresher courses for practicing translators and interpreters from 2008;
- Organise regular short courses in the areas of translation, interpretation, terminology and related areas (from 2008);
- Offer both face-to-face and distance mode tuition (by 2010);
- Diversify training programmes to include both specialist and general training, together with the introduction of more languages (from 2007-2008);
- Introduce a conducive set up for the reception of distance education material, notably by video-conferencing for the training of student interpreters in the Interpretation Laboratory by 2008;
- Recruit more full-time teaching staff and thus revert the current ratio of 75% part-time vs 25% full time (from 2007-2008);
- Organise staff development activities with due respect to syllabus content and specialisation needs (from 2007);
- Train ASTI teachers on distance education methods and techniques (from 2008).