The 11th Confucius Institute Conference successfully closes
On Dec. 11th, the closing ceremony of the 11th Confucius Institute Conference was held at Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center, bringing this two-day event to a successful conclusion. It is learned that this year’s conference, themed on “Innovation, Cooperation, Inclusion, Sharing”, featured 14 forums for Chinese and overseas university presidents and directors of Confucius Institutes, and three special symposiums including a symposium on international exchanges of Chinese culture such as traditional Chinese medicine and Taiji, a symposium on Confucius Institute and the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative and a roundtable forum. In addition, other series of events were held, including Information Service of Headquarters’ Programs, Confucius Institute Chinese Language Teaching Resource Exhibition, Creative Art & Culture at Confucius Institute, as well as Yunnan Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition and Exhibition of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tourism in Yunnan Province. 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.
The 11th Confucius Institute Conference concluded at Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center
Vice Minister of Education of China Mr. Hao Ping attended the closing ceremony and delivered a special speech titled “Education Reform and Open-up of China”. In his remarks, he focused on presenting the reform and development of Chinese education and its opening-up policies, and proposed suggestions for the future development of Confucius Institutes. Mr. Hao noted that since China’s reform and opening-up to the world, Chinese education had been undergoing continuous progress with remarkable improvement in scale and quality. This can be mostly attributed to the fact that the Chinese government unswervingly upholds the strategies of prioritizing education in the national development and invigorating the country with science and technology and education. Thus, education is considered as the most crucial task in improving people’s livelihood and great efforts have been devoted to promoting the balanced development of education, accelerating the development of modern vocational education, stepping up the work in the “Double First Class” Initiative in a coordinated manner, as well as pushing forward the reform of examination and enrolment systems. Mr. Hao further pointed out that educational opening-up constituted a vital part of China’s reform and opening-up policies. In the first half of 2016, China put forward Several Opinions on Better Work on Educational Opening-up in the New Period, which would further promote the quality and level of China’s educational opening-up to the world. Firstly, we should deliver good work in assisting Chinese students studying abroad and overseas students studying in China so as to cultivate outstanding talents of various types for China and the world. Secondly, we should join our hands for better cooperation in education. Thirdly, we should upgrade educational exchanges to a national strategy through the platform of cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping delivering a special speech
Mr. Hao stressed that the Confucius Institute serves as a window and a bridge for educational reform and opening-up. After 12 years of development, it is now standing at a brand-new starting pointing. In the future, it should adhere to the principle of “innovation, cooperation, inclusion, sharing” to advance its quality and efficiency and ensure successful transformation and upgrading. It should further promote the two-way cultural exchanges between China and overseas countries, continuously expand its functions and improve the operation mechanism for Sino-foreign cooperation, so as to achieve sound and sustainable development.
The closing ceremony was chaired by Mr. Ma Jianfei, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director General of Hanban. Ivana Oborná, Vice Rector of Palacký University, Czech; Andrew Deeks, President of University College Dublin, Ireland; Luis Antonio Paulino, Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Estadual Paulista, Brazil; and Zhu Chongshi, President of Xiamen University, delivered summary speeches for their forums, respectively. Finally, this year’s conference came to a conclusion amid warm applause by both the Chinese and overseas delegates. Several hundred young volunteers from such universities as Yunnan University, Kunming University of Science and Technology and Yunnan Normal University provided high-quality service to this event.
To date, 511 Confucius Institutes and 1,073 Confucius Classrooms have been established in 140 countries and regions. In 2016, the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms around the world, with a team of 46,000 Chinese and overseas full-time and part-time teachers, enrolled 2.1 million students and hosted cultural events of various types, receiving a total of 13 million participants.