Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg inaugurated, South Africa

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2016-02-05 18:30:56 

On January 28th the opening ceremony for the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg was held, South Africa. This new Confucius Institute was established in collaboration between the University of Johannesburg and Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), with Nanjing Tech University becoming the partner university in China. This is the fifth Confucius Institute that Hanban has established in universities in South Africa, and is the first to be established in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic centre and largest city.

Madam Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban, sent a special message of congratulations. In it, she said that China and South Africa were united in both being members of the BRICS economies, and after President Xi Jinping’s state visit in December, their role as strategic partners had entered a new stage, and as such, it was a particularly favourable time to establish a new Confucius Institute in South Africa. She believes that with the continued cooperation between China and South Africa, the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg will surely 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.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Ihron Rensburg, said that for seven years in a row China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner, and thus it makes a lot of sense to promote mutual cooperation, and to study Chinese language and learn about Chinese culture. With over 350 students currently registered with the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg, Rensburg believes there are great prospects not only for improving students’ Chinese proficiency, but also for promoting a deeper understanding of Chinese culture amongst the South African public.

The President of Nanjing Tech University, Huang Wei, expressed his belief that the context of the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit held in Johannesburg, along with the signing of the agreement on the promotion of Chinese language by Jiangsu Province in China and Gauteng Province in South Africa, bodes well for a promising future for this new Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg. He also believes that this Confucius Institute will provide an invaluable resource for South African citizens who want to study Chinese and learn about Chinese culture.

Mr. Song Bo, head of the Education Division at the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, welcomed the establishment of the new Confucius Institute on behalf of the embassy. He said the teaching of Chinese is developing rapidly, not only in South Africa, but other African countries as well, as more and more governments recognise its importance. In addition to Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms as platforms for Chinese learning in South Africa, the South African National Department of Basic Education has announced its Syllabus for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language in Schools in South Africa, and this year, primary and secondary schools in South Africa will begin incrementally to offer classes in Mandarin Chinese.

In addition to the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg, there are currently four other Confucius Institutes established by Hanban in South Africa, at Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, and Durban University of Technology. As well as this, Hanban has also opened Confucius Classrooms at the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Westerford High School, and the Chinese Culture and International Education Exchange Center. In Africa as a whole, Hanban has established a wide presence, with a total of 46 Confucius Institutes spread across 32 countries, along with 23 Confucius Classrooms in 14 countries.

Compiled from: People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China News Service, Hanban News


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