The 12th Global Annual Conference of Confucius Institutes were held in Xi’an, China on the 12th-13th December 2017. Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, was the capital city of ancient China and is now known as the city of culture for its long and rich cultural heritage of famous dynasties. The old Silk Road originated from Xi’an and is the starting location of the “The Belt & the Road Initiative”.
Vice Premier of the State Council, People’s Republic of China, Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Madam Liu Yandong, graced the function. The other distinguished guests were: Mr Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education, People’s Republic of China, Vice Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters; Mr Hu Heping, Secretary of Shaanxi Provincial Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) and Governor of Shaanxi Provincial People’s Government, People’s Republic of China; and Mr Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education, People’s Republic of China, Executive Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters.
The main theme of the conference was “Development of Confucius Institutes and Building of a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”. There were several keynote speakers on the opening day of the conference, among whom were Dr. C. Daniel Mote, Jr., President of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, United States of America, who talked about 21st century thinking of assembled talents for a shared vision through innovation and open thinking. He is the founder the first Confucius Institute in the United States of America in 2004. Dr Anatoli Tozik, Director of Republican Confucius Institute of Sinology at Belarusian State University, Former Vice Premier of the Republic of Belarus emphasized on the building of a global community with shared vision. He also said that “through language, one best understands a country and its culture”.
There were a number of Directors’ and Presidents’ forums over the two days of the conference and the Directors’ Forums covered topics such as ‘Performance Management of Confucius Institutes’; ‘Capacity Building of Teaching staff of Confucius Institutes’; ‘Innovation of Teaching and Resources for Confucius Institutes’; and ‘Building Partnerships between Confucius Institutes, Business and Public Organizations’. The Presidents’ Forums discussed about ‘Responsibilities of Chinese and Host Universities for the Success of Confucius Institutes’; ‘Confucius Institutes’ Strategies of Development through Innovation’; ‘Deepening Cooperation between Chinese and Host Universities through Confucius Institutes’; and ‘Strengthening People-to-People Bonds by Confucius Institutes’.
The conference also held a number of exhibitions; the Confucius Institute of Chinese Language Teaching (CLT) Resource Exhibition showcased the achievements of international CLT resources, online platforms and various Chinese language and cultural products. There was also, amongst others, a “Creative Calligraphy Exhibition” by the College of Chinese Calligraphy, Shaanxi Provincial Department of Education and Xi’an Technological University.
All the delegates were invited to an exceptional art performance, at Xi’an Concert Hall, by the ‘Large Original Ethnic Orchestra Music Suites’ and it was entitled “Morningstar Lilies Glowing Forever”. The composer was Mr Wang Danhong and the Conductor was Mr Yan Huichang.
A copy of the agenda of the conference is available on our website (Restricted Access).
The First Board Meeting of the Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius was held on the 11th December 2017, Xi’an, China and was hosted by Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. The meeting was chaired by Professor Fengmin WU, Chair of ZSTU Council. The members of the Board present were: Professor Zhengrong GAO, Vice-President of ZSTU; Associate Professor Naraindra KISTAMAH, Mauritian Director of CI-UoM; Associate Professor Xudong TAN, Mauritian Director of CI-UoM; Mr Xiang FU, Director of ZSTU International Exchange & Cooperation Office; and Professor Xiaofen JI, Chair of Executive committee and Deputy Dean of ZSTU School of International Education. The other attendees were representatives from ZSTU and they were: Professor Jianping LI, Dean of ZSTU School of International Education; and Ms Jie YU, Staff of ZSTU School of International Education.
Professor Gao Zhengrong, Vice president of ZSTU, gave a warm welcome speech to all the board members. As per the regulations governing the Board, Mr Tan Xudong, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at UoM presented the Annual and Financial reports of 2017 (Dec 2016-Nov 2017). He highlighted the major achievements of Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius and the expenses incurred. Dr. Kistamah, Mauritian Director, elaborated on the activities carried out in 2017, thanking both universities for the support given to CI-UoM. He hopes that the Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius develops with the strong support from the universities and win the title of “Excellent Confucius Institute”. Professor Wu, Chairman of the Council of ZSTU and the Chair of the Board, spoke highly of the work that CI at UoM has done. He said that CI serves as an important platform to promote the mandarin teaching as well as academic exchange between the two universities.
All the members were given a copy of the annual and financial reports, CI-UoM work plan for 2018 and its corresponding budget. The Board discussed the working plan and the budget for the year 2018. They think the working plan is comprehensive, feasible and reasonable.
The working plan and the budget for the year 2018 were approved by the Board during the meeting.
A copy of the agenda for the First Board Meeting of CI-UoM is available on our website (Restricted Access).
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius visited ZSTU on the occasion of the 125th Anniversary of ZSTU, 27th-28th Oct 2017. The VC delivered a speech on behalf of all VCs attending the function and the speech was very well received by the host and attendees.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor highlighted the historical relationship between China and Mauritius, woven over many years of interaction and the strong diplomatic ties the two countries since the independence of Mauritius in 1968. The establishment of a Confucius Institute at UoM in partnership with ZSTU, in December 2016, reinforces further the relationship between China and Mauritius. “CI-UoM has laid the foundation for a more in-depth intercultural communication and cooperation, propagating the best of Chinese Culture in Mauritius.”
The VC thanked the host for their generosity and hospitality. He paid tribute to the importance of ZSTU as one of the leading universities in China and recognized the great achievements of ZSTU over the past 120 years. This, he said, is also another reason to be proud of our partnership with ZSTU.
The visit also allowed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, UoM and ZSTU. The VC attended the 2017 International Forum of University Presidents on Fashion and Creativity organized by ZSTU. Professor Chunhong Liu, Vice President of Donghua University and Professor of Business and Management, was among the keynote speakers and her talk was entitled: “Fashion Education and Urban Construction”. Professor Remy Galland, CEO and Founder of French Multimedia University spoke about “French Design and its Ten Commandments” and Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Arts University at Bournemouth, UK, talked about “Global Fashion industry and Creativity.
Visits to research laboratories/centres, cultural centres/places and museums and manufacturing companies were organized and were facilitated by CI-UoM.
A copy of the speech of the Vice Chancellor of UoM, a video of the event and the signed MoU are available on our website (Restricted Access).
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius, Professor Dhanjay Jhurry and the President of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Professor Wenxing Chen, signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, in the company of the Directors of Confucius Institute at UoM, the Director and Deputy Director of International Exchanges and Cooperation Office of ZSTU and the Dean of School of International Education, ZSTU.
From left to right; Associate Professor Tan Xudong, Chinese Director of CI-UoM; Professor Li Jianping, Dean of School of International Education, ZSTU; Associate Professor Naraindra Kistamah, Mauritian Director of CI-UoM; Professor Dhanjay Jhurry, Vice Chancellor of UoM; Chairman of Council of ZSTU, Mr Wu Minfeng; the Director and Deputy Director of International Exchanges and Cooperation Office of ZSTU, Mr Fu Xiang (Oliver) and Mr Gu Chu.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius, Professor Dhanjay Jhurry (5th from right); to his left, Professor Paul Hogg, Vice Principal and Dean, Science and Enterprise, Royal Holloway University of London; and to his right, Associate Professor Tan Xudong and Associate Professor Naraindra Kistamah, Chinese and Mauritian Directors of Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius respectively and representatives of HIKVISION, Hangzhou, during a showroom visit of the factory.
The 2017 in-service training workshop for Confucius Institute Directors was held in Beijing, July 8th-16th 2017 at Beijing Normal University. The workshop was organized by Beijing Normal University and hosted by Hanban Headquarters located in Beijing.
Beijing Normal University (BNU) is a key university under the administration of the Ministry of Education and it is a renowned institution for teacher education, education science and basic learning in both arts and sciences. BNU promotes broad international cooperation and exchange, having signed cooperative agreements with nearly 300 universities and research institutes from more than 30 nations and regions. There are regular exchanges of exchanges with countries such as Japan, United States, Canada and UK.
BNU is one of the earliest universities in China to participate in the development of Confucius Institutes (CIs) and BNU has established partnership, through CIs, with 7 universities such as Manchester University (UK), Sherbrooke University (Canada) and University of Oklahoma (US).
Confucius Institute has been an important part in the university’s international strategy and BNU strives to make CI into a comprehensive platform for foreign cooperation and exchange. The new teacher-training base is one of the first Chinese international promotion bases established by the Confucius Institute headquarters in 2008, and its main task is to train international Chinese teachers and undertake related research projects.
At the 2017 in-service training workshop for Confucius Institute Directors, there were 35 foreign directors/deans of Confucius Institutes from 20 countries. The workshop included lectures by experts in education, Chinese culture and economy and they were about “The Belt and Road Initiative and Globalisation”; Contemporary China’s Reform and Development”; “A Glance at Education in China: systems, Policies and Reforms”; “Twenty-Four Solar Terms, Chinese Knowledge System of Time and Related Folklore”; “Environmental Governance in China: Struggles and Innovations from Ancient Time to Modern Era”; Understand China: Language Learning and Cross-cultural Communication”; and “The Complexity of Contemporary Chinese Culture”. Other lecturers and seminars were about the development of Confucius Institute and they included subjects such as “Key Projects of Confucius Institute: Planning, Scholarship and Examination”; “Functions of Confucius Institute and Cooperation between Chinese and Foreign Parties”; and “Division of Confucius Institutes, Finance”. There were also a number of cultural visits organized by the host and they included: “Visit to the Great Wall”; Visit to the Ming Tombs”; “Visit to the Capital Museum” and “Tai Chi Experience Activity”.
The in-service training workshop for Confucius Directors provides a rich knowledge and experience of Chinese culture and folklore. It also allows the new foreign Director to get a comprehensive grasp of the roles and functions of Confucius Institutes in the world.
2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa
The 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa was held in Lusaka, Zambia on the 17-18th May 2017. The theme of the conference was “Vocational and Technical Training by Confucius Institutes, Cooperation between Confucius Institutes and Chinese-funded Agencies and Local Teacher Training”. The event was hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Zambia and supported by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia. The aim of the event was to implement the “Development Plan” of Confucius Institute (2012-2020), exchange experiences to enhance cooperation and promote the development of Confucius Institutes of Africa. Over 240 guests participated in the conference and it included delegates from 54 Confucius Institutes and classrooms from 35 African countries and delegates from Chinese Partner Universities, representatives from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Zambia, representatives from China-funded organisations and representatives from Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban.
The conference also aimed at fostering cultural cooperation between China and Africa. The Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, his excellence Mr Yang Youming, mentioned that a new chapter of cooperation between China and Africa lies in the ability of Confucius Institutes to bring peoples together through the promotion of language and culture. Confucius Institutes could be true platforms of a win-win cooperation between China and Africa. He also hoped that Confucius Institutes helps promote both the Chinese and African culture. Confucius Institutes have become platforms of cultural exchanges between China and African countries. Ambassador Yang Youming said that Confucius Institutes have become a star performer in cross-culture exchanges between China and other countries. He added that the Confucius Institute is expected to better satisfy local differentiated demands, to focus on the pragmatic application of language and culture, and to continue advancing the friendship and practical cooperation between the two countries.
The President of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU), Professor Wenxing, CHEN paid a courtesy call to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius, Professor Dhanjay JHURRY on the 22nd of May 2017. The President of ZSTU paid a short visit to the Confucius Institute at UoM on his way back to China, after attending the 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa, held in Lusaka, Zambia on the 17-18th May 2017.
The President was accompanied by the Director of International Exchanges and Cooperation Office of ZSTU, Mr Xiang FU (Oliver). They discussed briefly about the collaboration between UoM and ZSTU and talked about the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two universities. Professor JHURRY invited President CHEN to visit the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR) and look forward to the establishment of a partnership between CBBR and its counterpart at ZSTU.
A delegation from Shanxi Provincial Education Department, Shanxi Province, China paid a visit to the University of Mauritius (UoM) with a view to promote academic exchanges and educational cooperation between the two parties. The delegation presented the high-level universities and disciplines in Shanxi Province; notably Taiyuan University of Technology (TYUT), specializing in Science and Architecture; Shanxi University, specializing in Law & Philosophy; Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, specializing in Finance; Shanxi Agricultural University; and Shanxi Normal University. Shanxi University ranks 56th nationally and 433th internationally in the 2017 Natural Index rankings. Taiyuan University of Technology was selected among the top 400 in the “QS BRICs University Rankings” in July 2015. According to the latest statistics in March 2017, 6 disciplines in institutions of higher education in Shanxi province are among the top ESI 1%. They are: chemistry and engineering of Shanxi University, chemistry, engineering, and materials science of Taiyuan University of Technology, and clinical medicine of Shanxi Medical University.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius presented the major areas of research of the six Faculties and four Centers at the university. There are several avenues which may be explored to help promote mutual academic exchanges and educational cooperation. The UoM reiterated its wish to expand and extend its facilities to more and more students nationally and regionally and for that matter, new infrastructure is vital. During the meeting with the delegation of Shanxi Province, the Vice-chancellor of the UoM discussed the possibility of setting up a Confucius Institute building at UoM with the support of Shanxi Provincial Education Department, the Peoples’ Republic of China. The Vice Chancellor hoped to have the new building on campus to also further academic activities of the university. The building may serve to:
- House incubators for research work between universities of Shanxi Province and the UoM;
- Accommodate overseas students of exchange programmes and/or volunteers of activities of the Confucius Institute;
- Offer conference halls and lecture rooms for mutual exchanges.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation and exchanges, between the Shanxi Provincial Education Department, the People’s Republic of China and University of Mauritius, Republic of Mauritius, was signed on 12th May 2017.
Copies of the presentations and the MoU are available on our website (Restricted Access) under the “Services & Library” tab.