The School of Foreign Studies was established in July, 2003. It began as the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Division of the Teaching and Research Department for Basic Courses at South China Agricultural College, and it took charge of the foreign language courses teaching of the college. In 1998, it began to enroll college students of English for Economics & Trade major. In 1993, it was upgraded into a Foreign Studies Department, and in 1996, a College of Humanities co-founded with the Department of Social Science and Section of Agricultural History. In 1998, it was authorized to award a Bachelor’s Degree in English. From then on, it began to enroll undergraduates of English for Economics & Trade major. In 2004, the English major was further divided into Advanced Translation, Electronic Commerce, English for Economics & Trade and English Education. In 2007, the English major was readjusted into such fields as Translation, Economics & Trade and English language studies. In 2013, two new majors of Business English and Japanese were added. In May, 2014, the school was authorized to embark on the program of Master of Translation and Interpreting by the State Council of Academic Degree’s Committee, and in 2016, the doctoral program of Ecolinguistics was approved.
The School of Foreign Studies now has 2 school-level research centers, namely, Center for Eco-linguistics, and Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, an MTI Education Center, an English Department, a Business English Department, a Japanese Department, a Department of College English Teaching, an Experiment Center, a Center for Continuing Education, an Office for Educational Administration, an Office for School Work as well as an Executive Office. It has a staff 145 strong, among whom there are 131 full-time teachers, 8 professors, 48 associate professors, and 75 lecturers (assistant teachers).
The teaching body boasts Professor Huang Guowen, Dean of SFS, who is a Chair Professor of Chang Jiang Scholars Program, a Fulbright Scholar in 2004-2005 at Stanford University, Editor-in-chief of the Journal "Foreign Languages in China", Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association as well as Chair of China Association of Functional Linguistics. In recent years, Professor Huang Guowen has been devoted to the study of ecolinguistics and has become a leading scholar in that filed both home and abroad.
The school now has 37 graduate students, 1534 undergraduates. The graduate employment rate is up to 96% and most of the graduates work at foreign companies as translators or interpreters, or engage in administration, foreign trade, secretarial work and teaching, etc. The school carries the task of teaching and scientific research for all the undergraduate and graduate students of approximately 20,000 people. In addition, there are 14 audio-visual classrooms, 2 simultaneous interpreting rooms, and 1 micro-teaching lab, which accounts for a total area of 1,300 square meters with 826 seats, altogether valued at more than 4.93 million Yuan.