Joint Conference of Some Confucius Institutes in Europe Held in Krakow to Discuss “Model Confucius Institute” Construction

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters [Time]    2019-05-27 15:22:00 
 

On May 15th, 2019, the Joint Conference of Some Confucius Institutes in Europe was held in Krakow, Poland. The theme of the conference was to construct and develop the Model Confucius Institute. The meeting was hosted by the Confucius Institute in Krakow. Present at the opening ceremony were Liu Guangyuan, Chinese Ambassador to Poland, Wojciech Nowak, President of Jagiellonian University and Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Council, Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Jia Dezhong, Vice President of Beijing Foreign Studies University, and they each delivered a speech.

In his speech, Liu Guangyuan said that the Confucius Institute is an important platform for the world to understand China and an important channel for promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. The Confucius Institute in Krakow is the first Confucius Institute in Poland. Over the years, the Confucius Institute has endeavored to develop its own characteristics and make renovations for further development. It has organized influential cultural activities, forming a brand in the local area and promoting cultural exchanges between China and Poland.

Nowak said in his speech that over past ten years of development, the Confucius Institute has become a good brand in Europe. Not only has it cultivated many language talents, but also enabled more young people to better understand the current China. It enjoys a high reputation among Chinese culture lovers in many countries.

In his speech, Zhao Guocheng said that with joint efforts by both parties, the Confucius Institute has made striding development over the past decade and has become one of the largest language and cultural communication organizations in the world. In spite of its fast pace and grand scale, the Confucius Institute is varied with diverse situations in different countries. Some have a longer history than others. Therefore, the Confucius Institute needs to optimize its locations, adjust its structures, improve its quality, enrich its substance, cater to local needs and highlight its characteristics. It is necessary to set up benchmarks in those well-run and large-scale Confucius Institutes and select Model Confucius Institute from them and build them up, so that they can play a leading and demonstrative role. It is necessary and possible to build up the Model Confucius Institute. He said that in the past, more emphasis was laid on the hardware of the Model Confucius Institute. Now more attention must be paid to the construction of software and the compatibility with the scale. We also need to emphasize the leading and demonstrative role of the Model Confucius Institute in a certain field, such as Chinese language teaching, local teacher training, research into contemporary China, vocational skills training, and so on. He said that each Model Confucius Institute should cater to the local needs and bring its advantages into full play.

Jia Dezhong said that Beijing Foreign Studies University has actively put in its high-quality resources, maintained close communication to improve language teaching and the level of the Confucius Institute in Krakow, and extended Chinese courses and cultural projects to Warsaw and other cities near Krakow. At the same time, it has initiated high-level educational cooperation projects and carried out cooperation in researches into Central and Eastern Europe, thus directly serving Poland’s national education system.

In 2019, the Confucius Institute Headquarters is planning to hold seven regional conferences in Europe. This conference is the first held in Europe this year. More than 40 leaders of 17 Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in Europe from China and host countries attended the conference. During the conference, participants shared their views on such topics as “Standards of Model Confucius Institute”, “Strategies for Developing Characteristics” and “Responsibility of Chinese and Host Universities for the Success of Model Confucius Institute”. They agreed that the Model Confucius Institute would play a leading and demonstrative role in Chinese teaching and cultural activities and provide a significant platform for academic and other exchanges between universities in China and other countries, an advantage for pushing forward substantial construction of Confucius Institutes. Meanwhile, the delegates suggested that an effective evaluation mechanism and a quality control system be established for the Model Confucius Institute to ensure the effectiveness of the regulations in respects of teaching, administration and finance. In addition, they believed that the Model Confucius Institute should attach more importance to professional development, teaching and management, and they should play a leading role in Chinese teaching in the host country or region. And appropriate courses such as business tour, traditional Chinese medicine tour and martial arts tour should be offered to satisfy the local needs. Moreover, universities of both sides should make joint efforts to achieve mutual benefits.