Remaining True to Our Aspiration in the Past Fruitful Decade: Confucius Institute in Auckland Holds 10th Anniversary Celebration

[Source]    Confucius Institute in Auckland, New Zealand [Time]    2017-10-25 17:10:04 

On October 16th, local time, the Confucius Institute in Auckland, New Zealand held a ceremony celebrating its 10th anniversary of establishment at the Auckland Museum Conference Centre.

The Confucius Institute in Auckland was officially established in February 2007. As the first Confucius Institute in New Zealand, it was jointly established by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the University of Auckland. Its Chinese partner is Fudan University.

Yang Jian and Raymond Huo, New Zealand National Party MPs , Bill Cashmore, Deputy Mayor of Auckland, Pat English, the board member of the Confucius Institute in Auckland, Martin Thomson, Chairman of the New Zealand-China Trade Association, Qu Guangzhou, Political Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand and other guests attended and addressed the ceremony.

Qu Guangzhou delivering a speech

On behalf of Wang Lutong, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, Qu Guangzhou delivered a speech in which he affirmed the significant contributions the Confucius Institute in Auckland has made in the past decade to promoting Chinese teaching as well as spreading Chinese culture and praised the pioneering and leading role of the institute in the development of the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in New Zealand.

Dr. Yang Jian delivering a speech

Dr. Jian Yang said in his speech that the New Zealand National Party-led government has recently launched a policy to support foreign languages learning, spending 160 million New Zealand dollars to integrate foreign languages learning into the compulsory curriculum system of primary and junior high schools. This comes down to the awareness of the importance of learning a second language, including Chinese to the young generation in New Zealand. Over the past decade, New Zealand students have shown good momentum and great potential in Chinese learning at the Confucius Institutes. In Auckland alone, over 100,000 students have got access to Chinese learning at the Confucius Institute, which also provides important basis and guarantee for the government’s decision-making.

Raymond Huo delivering a speech

Raymond Huo mainly introduced New Zealand Chinese Language Week in his speech, which was launched on the same day. Held once a year, the nongovernmental and nationwide event is the first of its kind in western countries. The Confucius Institute will work together with all circles in New Zealand to carry out Chinese language and cultural thematic promotion activities with diversified forms and rich contents during the Chinese Language Week.

Bill Cashmore, Pat English, Martin Thomson and other guests also highly praised the accomplishments and role of the Confucius Institute. In addition, the principals of the partners of the Confucius Institute in Auckland and representatives of the teachers and students also presented their best wishes to the Confucius Institute, striking a chord with all the guests.

Photo exhibition of the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute

Teaching assistants giving their performance

During the ceremony, the Confucius Institute in Auckland held a photo exhibition of the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute and presented awards to the winners of the Chinese Bridge speech contest, “Ambassador’s Cup” essay competition, CI Anniversary of Confucius Institute video competition and other events as well as to excellent Chinese teachers in New Zealand. Teachers and students from the Confucius Classrooms and teaching sites also prepared Chinese talent shows.

Yao Zaiyu (left), New Zealand Director of the Confucius Institute in Auckland, Zhou Bing (right), Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute in Auckland, and Sarah, a student delegate cutting the birthday cake together

At present, the Confucius Institute in Auckland operates 12 Confucius Classrooms, covering 34 primary and middle schools and providing Chinese courses for nearly 150 primary and middle schools. It has established a branch at the University of Otago in Dunedin in the South Island. The number of students studying Chinese has totaled 30,000 with nearly 50 teaching assistants. The Confucius Institute in Auckland has been awarded 5 times as Confucius Institute of the Year and is one of the Model Confucius Institutes around the world. In 2014, the Confucius Institute in Auckland received the "Confucius Institute Pioneer Award".