Confucius Institute update April 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 – The Year of the Horse

This year is the Chinese year of the Horse, and the Confucius Institute celebrated Chinese New Year with a number of events in Cardiff.

Cardiff Confucius Institute in partnership with the Welsh Government jointly hosted a new year’s eve reception on 30 January at the Senedd in Cardiff which was attended by the First Minister the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM and Mr Cong Peiwu, Minister from the Chinese Embassy in London.  Guests came from across Wales and represented academia, business and cultural organisations with an interest in China, and the Chinese community in Wales.   Entertainment included a traditional Chinese Dragon dance, Chinese music performed by Chinese students studying at Cardiff University and a demonstration of Mandarin and a traditional Chinese Fan Dance performed by the pupils of Millbrook Primary School in Newport.  Both the First Minister and Minister Cong congratulated the school children performance and Minister Cong added that he was very impressed with their Mandarin skills.

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The Confucius Institute celebrated Chinese New Year in the local community with family events at the Red Dragon Centre on Saturday 1 February, at the Cardiff Story Museum on Sunday 2 February and at Cardiff Central Library on Saturday 8 February.  Children made traditional Chinese decorations including lanterns and paper-cuts, coloured Chinese masks and dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes, and there was a Chinese calligraphy demonstration.  The atmosphere was lively as children and families found out about Chinese New Year and enjoyed the activities.

Staff Update

In February, we were sad to say goodbye to Prof ZHU Xueyi, who has been our Chinese Academic Director for two years, but pleased that she has not gone too far, and wish her well as she takes up her new post at Southampton Confucius Institute.  In March, we were delighted to welcome our new Chinese Academic Director, Prof LI Dan.  Prof Li has previously spent time in Wales as a visiting scholar at Aberystwyth and comes to us from the School of Public Affairs Xiamen University.  We are very pleased that our 6 new Chinese tutors have recently arrived from China and are settling into their schools around the country and to teaching at the University.

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Confucius Institute Round Table

In February, Executive Director Prof Anthony Beresford and General Manager Victoria Grant attended the annual Confucius Institute Roundtable Meeting at the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in London.  Cardiff Confucius Institute was invited to give a presentation and Prof Beresford impressed representatives of Confucius Institutes across the UK with the range of our work.  Discussion ranged from teaching Chinese and Chinese exams, promotion of Chinese culture and supported study opportunities in China.  The debate was lively and productive, and the delegates agreed that future meetings would benefit from being longer so as to be more productive.

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International Forum on Low-Carbon Eco-Cities

Cardiff Confucius Institute, in partnership with Cardiff University School of Geography and Planning, held an International Forum on Low-Carbon Eco-Cities on 20-21 March.  Experts in research and implementation in this field from across the UK, Europe and China gathered to discuss developments and the application of low-carbon technology in city planning, an area of critical interest to countries all over the world.  We were particularly pleased to welcome Prof WANG Shaosen from Xiamen university, who gave a fascinating presentation on marrying the ancient and modern in developing low carbon living.  The presentations and debates well attended by colleagues and post-graduates from the University and with the unanimously positive feedback, the Confucius Institute is considering the possibility of supporting this area on an on-going basis.

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COMING UP

Study in China

Applications are now open for the Study China scheme which provides funded opportunities for full time students at UK universities to spend a month in China over the summer holidays.  All levels of ability are catered for, including complete beginners.  Please see the Study China website for details.  It is anticipated that places will be filled by early May so you are encouraged to submit your applications as soon as possible and certainly by the end of the Easter holidays.  Cardiff Confucius Institute is happy to assist you in making your application and provide pre-departure and language briefing.

Study Chinese with us over the summer

This summer we are again offering 3 week intensive Chinese courses running on three nights a week. Details are available form www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/summerlanguages 

Cardiff Confucius Institute now has a Facebook page – keep in touch!