Stories of China and Thailand in the New Era:
2018 Shanghai University Confucius Institutes Joint Workshop Held in Phuket

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Prince of Songkhla University, Phuket Campus [Time]    2018-03-23 13:05:45 

On March 12th, the Shanghai University (SHU) Five Confucius Institutes Joint Workshop was held by the Confucius Institute at Prince of Songkhla University, Phuket Campus (PSU).

With a guest attendance of over 20, the event had the presence of representatives from Thailand, including Worawut Wisutmethangoon, Vice President for Phuket Campus of PSU, Apichat Heednacram, Assistant President for Global Relations of PSU, Nuwan Thapthiang, Dean of Faculty of International Studies and Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at Phuket Campus of PSU, and Wang Yi, Associate Dean for Global Outreach of PSU; representatives from SHU, including Gong Siyi, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Vice President of SHU, Yao Ximing, Dean of College of International Exchange and Director of the Office of the Confucius Institute of SHU; Chinese and foreign directors of the Confucius Institutes at Prince of Songkhla University, Phuket Campus, University College Cork in Ireland, Boğaziçi University, University of Kentucky, and the University of Bahrain.

In his speech, Worawut Wisutmethangoon said that the joint workshop, which marked PSU’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on March 12th, provided an opportunity for educators from all around the world with language and cultural exchanges, and a cooperative platform for these five Confucius Institutes to communicate with each other and increase their own embedded values.

Worawut Wisutmethangoon delivering a speech

Yao Ximing gave a keynote speech, putting forward three main views and suggestions. Firstly, the development of Confucius Institutes should give priority to stability and quality so as to attract not only students but also local scholars. Secondly, each Confucius Institute should stand out in certain fields. Finally, he hoped that a long term strategic vision can be achieved through the combination of Chinese perspective and local cultural environment.

Yao Ximing delivering a speech

Afterwards, representatives from the five Confucius Institutes delivered speeches successively. They summarized the work results, schooling features and existing problems the Institutes are facing in the recent years and deeply compared notes and exchanged experiences on issues of improving the quality, giving play to traditional values and characteristics, carrying out cultural activities in an all-round and innovative way, promoting inter-university cooperation based on the Confucius Institute and fostering the development of the same.

Wu Xueying, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Bahrain delivering a speech

Xiu Huajing, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky

Nuwan Thapthiang first introduced the progress in developing new media in all fields and with full coverage, particularly the trial running of the Confucius Institute’s digital broadcast, the operation of its WeChat official account, Facebook social media platform and YouTube website. With regards to Chinese teaching and examinations, the Confucius Institute at Phuket Campus has been actively cooperating with the local government and integrating its own education resources with those of primary and secondary schools in southern Thailand. Under its efforts, the year 2017 witnessed nearly 5,400 candidates sitting for HSK organized by the Confucius Institute at Phuket Campus and about 100 people visiting China for academic exchanges, including the principals, presidents, teachers and students of primary, secondary schools and universities. All these facts demonstrate that the Confucius Institute has taken root in Phuket and has kept exerting its influence. She said that Prince of Songkhla University, Phuket Campus would further support the development planning of the Confucius Institute and hoped for continual progress in the new year.

Nuwan Thapthiang delivering a speech

Finally, Gong Siyi made an important conclusion speech. She expressed her gratitude towards the support given by Worawut Wisutmethangoon to the Confucius Institute at Phuket Campus. Then she highly acclaimed the distinctive achievements made by the Confucius Institutes in Chinese teaching and Chinese culture promotion in recent years. She also showed heartfelt appreciation and good wishes to Chinese and foreign staff and the partner institutions for the sound development momentum of the Confucius Institutes. Meanwhile, she proposed three main concepts for building a modern Confucius Institute: to improve teaching quality, to cater for people’s needs in the new era, and to play an important role in strengthening people-to-people and country-to-country relations. She encouraged all Confucius Institutes to step up exchanges, seek to reform and innovate, so as to make themselves indispensable bridges for education and cultural exchanges and models for other Confucius Institutes.

Gong Siyi making a conclusion

Group photo

The conference coincided with the opening ceremony of the PSU’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. PSU, Phuket Campus and SHU exchanged the memorandum of cooperation on building the Chinese Culture Research Center in Thailand and presented gifts to one another. The two presidents said that based on the platform of the Confucius Institute at Phuket Campus, they are going to further enhance comprehensive cooperation between the two universities on academic communication, joint research, graduate programs and other fields and bring it to a new level.

Story by Sun Yidan; Photos by Gui Xiaodong