Confucius Institute at the University of Hull holds opening ceremony, the UK
On January 29th the grand opening ceremony of the Confucius Institute at the University of Hull was held, the UK. This Confucius Institute was set up in collaboration between the University of Hull and Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), with Tianjin Normal University becoming the partner university in China. The Confucius Institute at the University of Hull is the 26th Confucius Institute to be established in the UK.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Hull Anita Harrison, Hull City Councillor Stephen Brady, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull Calie Pistorius, Minister Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in the UK Shen Yang, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Manchester Li Yongsheng, and President of Tianjin Normal University Gao Yubao, along with about 200 other guests from all walks of life.
During the ceremony, Shen Yang read out a letter of congratulations from Madam Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban. In her message, Madam Xu Lin acknowledged Hull’s position as a key center in the promotion of British products, services and knowledge across the world, as well the efforts made by the University of Hull in fostering Sino-British and international cooperation in the field of education and the remarkable success it has achieved in this endeavour. Madam Xu went on to say that Tianjin Normal University is one of the most renowned teacher training universities in China and the Confucius Institute is unparalleled in its experience, and she hopes that with the cooperation and hard work of these two universities, the Confucius Institute at the University of Hull can become an important platform for the local population to study Chinese and get to know China, whilst also contributing to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between citizens of the two countries.
During his address, Vice Chancellor of the University, Calie Pistorius, spoke of the great prospects that the Confucius Institute at the University of Hull has, as the only Confucius Institute in the Humber area, in endowing the local community with provision to study Chinese and engage in cultural exchange. In addition, Calie Pistorius also talked about the important role this new Confucius Institute would play in promoting academic research and cross-cultural communication, as well as giving an opportunity for more young people to get to know China.
In his speech, Consul-General Li Yongsheng spoke of how the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Hull happened to coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official visit to the UK and his attendance at the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference. Li firmly believed that the establishment of this new Confucius Institute would play a vital role in the provision of Chinese teaching to the Humber area, and the opening ceremony had added to the festive atmosphere surrounding the arrival of the Chinese Year of the Monkey.
President of Tianjin Normal University, Gao Yubao, emphasised the high regard in which the University of Hull’s foreign language teaching has always been held, and how the cooperation with Tianjin Normal University, along with the integration of PGCE courses with Masters degrees in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, provides significant opportunities for the professional development of local Chinese teachers in Britain. Further to this, Mr. Gao said these kind of opportunities not only represent a new and prominent educational role for the Confucius Institute, but also help promote cooperation and communication between the University of Hull and Tianjin Normal University and provide a large contribution to the development of international friendship between Britain and China.
Children from a local primary school’s Chinese club performing a rendition of the Chinese song Where is Spring
During the event, children from a local primary school’s Chinese club performed the Chinese song Where is Spring, while a musician visiting from China performed the traditional Chinese folk songs High Mountains and Flowing Water and Songs of Fishing Boats at Dusk, amongst others, on the zither. The performances were greeted with heartfelt applause and appreciation from the audience.