2018 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe Held at Confucius Institute in Sofia

[Source]    Confucius Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria [Time]    2018-11-05 18:21:13 
 

On October 24th, local time, the 2018 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe was held at the Confucius Institute in Sofia. The conference was sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and organized by the Confucius Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria, and attended by 55 Chinese and foreign representatives from 30 Confucius Institutes and 4 Confucius Classrooms in 16 countries across central and eastern Europe.

Alexander Fedotoff, Board Member of Confucius Institute in Sofia and Executive Director of the Research Center of Oriental Languages in Sofia University, hosted the opening ceremony. Georgi Valchev, Vice Rector of Sofia University, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, and pointed out that the Confucius Institute in Sofia has played an important role in promoting Chinese language education in Bulgaria and cultural exchanges between China and Bulgaria since it was founded. As the recent years has witnessed increasingly frequent contacts between China and Central and Eastern Europe, the development of Confucius Institutes bears great significance in promoting educational and cultural exchanges as well as economic and trade cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe. He expressed his gratitude to the Confucius Institute in Sofia for offering this conference a platform of communication, and wished this conference a complete success.


Georgi Valchev delivering a speech

After the opening ceremony, the representatives were divided into two groups and discussed about three topics: “improving the evaluation system and teaching quality of Confucius Institutes”, “Confucius Institutes innovation and characteristic development” and “Confucius Institutes serve the Belt and Road Initiative”. Furthermore, the representatives also shared experiences and suggestions over such topics as “Confucius Institutes, as preparatory training institutions, offer language training programs for foreign students” and “Confucius Institutes cooperate with enterprises and provide internships for students”. All representatives spoke their minds freely and presented a lively discussion.


Members of the first group discussing the topics


Members of the second group discussing the topics

At the closing ceremony, Petra Kotuliakova, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute in Bratislava, Slovakia, Feng Shaozhong, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute in Cluj, Romania, and Zhou Jie, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Vilnius University in Lithuania, made conclusions respectively on behalf of their own groups.

Hamar Imre, Vice President of Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary and Foreign Director of Confucius Institute, delivered a speech on behalf of the attendees. He put himself as an example with a sense of humor to demonstrate that the cooperation between Chinese and Foreign Directors is extremely challenging in intercultural communication. Regarding to the development of Confucius Institutes, He believed that the growing path and strategy should be customized according to environments and cultures in different countries.

At the end of the ceremony, Aksiniya Koleva, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute in Sofia, delivered a conclusion speech. She said that during the past year, the Confucius Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe were committed to promoting Chinese language education and Chinese culture, achieving outstanding outcomes. Through support of and collaboration between the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and various Chinese and foreign institutions, Confucius Institutes will better play its role as a cultural bridge and push forward in-depth cooperation and exchanges in various fields between China and Central and Eastern Europe.


Aksiniya Koleva delivering a speech


All attendees

Currently, the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) has established 30 Confucius Institutes and 36 Confucius Classrooms in Central and Eastern Europe with approximately 40,000 registered students. This joint conference has reinforced the contacts among the Confucius Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe, and improved the teaching quality and influence of the Confucius Institutes in this region.

Story by Hu Huaqian; photo by Li Ying, Tian Xiaojun