The 9th Confucius Institute Conference held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China

[Source]    China News Service [Time]    2014-12-12 17:24:48 
 

 

The 9th Confucius Institute Conference was officially opened on Dec. 7th, 2014, in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute. Up to now, a total of 475 Confucius Institutes and 851 Confucius Classrooms have been established in 126 countries and regions across five continents, with 3.45 million registered students in cumulative terms.

A total of over 2,000 delegates gathered together at the conference, including directors of Confucius Institutes and presidents of the host universities from 126 different countries and regions across the world as well as representatives of the Chinese partner universities or institutions, the education departments (commissions) of related provinces (autonomous regions or municipalities), the Chinese embassies in foreign countries, Chinese enterprises involved in the construction of Confucius Institutes as well as envoys from some embassies in China. During the conference, they conducted in-depth discussions on important issues in the development of Confucius Institutes to embrace the new decade.

Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of P. R. China and Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. In her speech, she concluded the success by Confucius Institutes in its first 10 years and expressed four expectations for their future development: speeding up localization for integration development; working incessantly on quality improvement and fundamental development; expanding on people-to-people exchange functions to facilitate diversification; and innovating their operational mode for sustainable development.

Other representatives also gave their speeches at the opening ceremony, including Mr. Zhu Chongshi, President of Xiamen University, Mr. Timothy O'Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Mr. Barry Marshall, Nobel Prize winner and student at the Confucius Institute, Ms. Ruth Njeri, local Chinese language teacher at the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi.

At the opening ceremony, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong also unveiled the plaque for the Academy for Confucius Institute Directors, which is established in Xiamen University.

This conference also presents a special award, “Confucius Institute Pioneer Award”, to honor ten universities or institutions which signed cooperation agreements in as early as 2004 and 2005 and have been in sound operation and made outstanding contributions, including the University of Kansas and the University of Maryland in the US, the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy, the Ritsumeikan University in Japan, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong also conferred awards to the winners of 2014 Confucius Institute (Classroom) of the Year, 2014 Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award and 2014 Outstanding Confucius Institute Chinese Partner.

During the two-day conference, seven Presidents’ Forums and seven Directors’ Forums will be conducted. Delegates will hold in-depth discussions around 14 important issues in the development of Confucius Institutes, including the contributions and functions of Confucius Institutes in the past decade, the evaluating criteria for a Model Confucius Institute, the cultural and academic function of the Confucius Institute, the feasibility of establishing the Alumni Association of Confucius Institute and the Confucius Institute Foundation, the school-running characteristics of Confucius Institutes and the development of local economy, the cultivation and training of local Chinese language teachers, Guidelines for Chinese Language Teaching (CLT) Materials Development, and the development of local Chinese teaching materials in the host countries.

Meanwhile, International Chinese Teaching Resource Exhibition, the Exhibition of Confucius Institutes’ Achievements in the Past Decade, The First Global “Confucius Institute Day” Congratulatory Letter & Photo Exhibition, and the Information Fair of Confucius Institute Headquarters’ Programs will also be held.

By Yang Fushan & Chen Yue

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