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XMU Delegation headed by President Zhu Chongshi attends the 11th Confucius Institute Conference

Date: 2016-12-29 - Views:1511

    On Dec. 10 and 11, 2016, the 11th Confucius Institute Conference was grandly held in Kunming, with “innovation, cooperation, inclusion and sharing” as its theme. The two-day conference aims to exchange ideas and language teaching experiences between China and foreign experts in an attempt to improve teaching quality and upgrade Confucius Institutes. A total of approximately 2,200 delegates attended this year’s conference, including university presidents and representatives of Confucius Institutes from 140 countries and regions and they had discussions on a series of topics including the international exchanges of Chinese culture and the Confucius Institute and the “Belt and Road” Initiative. The Conference was chaired by Mr. Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education of China and Vice-Chair of the Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters. Mdm. Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairwoman of the Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters, delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony and presented awards to outstanding CIs, individuals and Confucius Institute Chinese partners. A total of approximately 50 delegates from Xiamen University (XMU) and the host universities, including President of Xiamen University Prof. Zhu Chongshi, Vice-President Mdm. Zhan Xinli, heads of the Southern Base of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Office of Confucius Institute Affairs, Deputy Director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, and representatives of 16 Confucius Institutes co-built by Xiamen University attended the Conference.


President Zhu Chongshi meeting the delegates of Xiamen University on Dec. 10, 2016

    In her keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Conference, Vice Premier Liu Yandong called on all sides to jointly open a new chapter for the development of Confucius Institutes. She said, President Xi once put forward that Confucius Institutes belong to China and also to the world. Thanks to the joint efforts of Chinese and foreign partners and all sectors of society, the Confucius Institute has traversed an extraordinary journey of 12 years. In the past 12 years, the Confucius Institute has achieved steady growth of scale, continuous improvement of teaching quality, enhancement of service capacity, gradual optimization of operational mechanism, infusing new vigor into the sustainable development of Confucius Institutes. Vice Premier Liu stressed that, nowadays, it is the joint aspiration of the world people to forge a new paradigm of international relations featuring cooperation and win-win and to construct a community of common destiny where the fate of everyone is intertwined. More attentions and efforts shall be given to the theme of the Conference, i.e. “innovation, cooperation, inclusion and sharing.” Reform of the “three teaching-related areas” must be deepened, i.e. teachers, learning resources and pedagogy. Confucius Institutes have to continuously enrich teaching functions, upgrade the quality and performance and strive for content-driven development. The initiatives of collaborators from both sides must be advocated and the council mechanism must be updated so both sides can enhance the partnerships and be deeply integrated. Confucius Institutes need to localize the development by orienting their services toward local communities, conditions and realities, open the doors to the general public and promote the inter-civilization learning. Moreover, Confucius Institutes must proactively participate in the development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative, enhance the cooperative mechanisms across regions and countries, endeavor to benefit peoples of more countries and make greater contributions to the diversified and colorful world civilization.

    During the Conference, President Zhu Chongshi attended the Assembly of the Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters chaired by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and “Confucius Institute and the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative Roundtable Forum” chaired by Vice Minister of Education Mr. Hao Ping and gave speeches respectively. Meanwhile, President Zhu also chaired the Presidents’ Forum on “Development of Confucius Institute for the Next Five Years” and made a summary at the closing ceremony of the Conference. In his speeches, President Zhu highlighted the improvement of competence and communication ability of Chinese Directors, the localization of teachers and the professionalization of China-sent teachers in the future development of Confucius Institutes. He also pointed out that the Chinese partners should proactively take advantage of the “Belt and Road” Initiative to strengthen the construction of Confucius Institutes along the line and reinforce the comprehensive exchange and cooperation between Chinese and foreign partners. Besides, Confucius Institutes should actively respond to global trends and possible changes and adjust the operation timely, serve as a bridge to promote the discipline construction at the university level and finally achieve the content-driven development of Confucius Institutes in the future.


President Zhu Chongshi delivering a summary speech of the Presidents’ Forum at the Closing Ceremony of the Conference on Dec. 11, 2016

    The annual Confucius Institute Conference is a grand event of Confucius Institutes around the world and is hailed as the educational Davos. Up till now, there are 511 Confucius Institutes and 1,073 Confucius Classrooms in 140 countries and regions, with the number of full-time and part-time China-sent and local teachers reaching 46,000. In 2016, the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms around the world enrolled 2.1 million students and hosted cultural events of various types, receiving a total of 13 million participants. Confucius Institutes are the bridge builders across eastern and western civilizations and have become a platform on which the world comes to know more about China and a window to deepen the friendships and cooperation between China and other countries.  In 2016, the 16 Confucius Institutes and 44 Confucius Classrooms co-built by Xiamen University have a total of 40,638 registered students, marking an increase of 28% over the last year, and held 760 cultural events. The numbers of students and cultural events have both kept a momentum of rapid growth for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, with the Confucius Institute as the platform, this year has seen increasingly frequent personnel visiting and rich forms of exchange and cooperation between Xiamen University and the host universities. Thanks to the great support of co-built Confucius Institutes, Xiamen University successfully hosted the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” University Presidents Forum, sent the arts troupes to 4 cities of the UK and the University of Malta, and held a joint concert with Trier University this year.  What’s more, the two University Days in Xiamen University, i.e. “the University of Wroclaw Day” and “Mae Fah Luang University Day”, and the “Xiamen University Day” in the University of Southampton were also a great success, further strengthening the mutual exchange and cooperation between Xiamen University and its foreign partners and enhancing the impact of Confucius Institutes’ impact.

    (Office of Confucius Institute Affairs, Xiamen University)