The First Council of Confucius Institute at Coventry University Held Successfully
Vice President Xiaoping Wang made a special trip to the Confucius Institute at Coventry University during his visit to British universities and participated in the First Council of Confucius Institutes (2017). As members of the board on the Chinese side, Xiaoping Wang and Chinese Dean of Confucius Institute Xifeng Zhang attended the First Council of Confucius Institute (2017). Prof. Long Xiao, Director of Office of International Cooperation and Exchange of JUFE, took part in the council online by WeChat video. Except for Principal of Coventry University John absent for some reason, Vice President of Coventry University and English Dean of the Confucius Institute David Pillsbury, Executive Vice Dean of the Confucius Institute Matthew Beadham, Director of East Asia Strategy Development at Coventry University Zhi Finlay (Zhi Qiu) and Operational Officer of Confucius Institute Michela Mancini attended the council. Alpaslan Ozerdem and Kim Bowen also attended the council as conference secretaries.
For nearly 10 years, Coventry University and JUFE have cooperated in various fields. The Confucius Institute is an important achievement for both sides. Two universities really attach great importance to its future development. At the council, Xiaoping Wang made three suggestions on behalf of JUFE. Firstly, two universities should strengthen the cooperation relationship and improve it to a strategic partnership. Secondly, while strengthening the daily work of the Confucius Institute, it is necessary to create courses for undergraduates or postgraduates in International Trade and Economics. Last but not least, two universities should make joint-scientific-research further, hold more academic conferences and forums, and raise levels of cooperative scientific research together. And Xiaoping Wang also suggested that two universities could set up the "Belt and Road Institute" together and the institute may be located in the London campus. All the suggestions above were supported by Prof. David Pillsbury. And he might intend to have further discussions on it at an appropriate time next spring. During this council, two universities reached a number of consensus and they believed cooperation between Coventry University and JUFE would get into a higher level.
Although the schedule was so tight, being concerned about teachers and students in Coventry University, Xiaoping Wang came to visit them before the council. Xiaoping Wang with the delegation, Dean Xifeng Zhang, other Chinese teachers, volunteers, visiting scholars and students from JUFE came together and held a symposium.
Xifeng Zhang briefly reported the pioneering work that the Confucius Institute had accomplished as well as challenges they faced in the past year and Xiaoping Wang kindly congratulated on their achievements. Regarding the future development of Confucius Institutes, Xiaoping Wang figured out that taking JUFE’s advantages in the field of economy, the Confucius Institute could set up courses with credits and educate students with Coventry University together to make Confucius Institute at Coventry University become an influential business Confucius Institute. Xiaoping Wang stressed that there was still a long way to go for the development of Confucius Institutes. He encouraged all teachers and volunteers to work hard and overcome those challenges. Furthermore, he also hoped that all students studying at Coventry University could make their efforts and make JUFE be proud of them.
Subsequently, the delegation headed to visit Nicholas Chamberlain High School. This school is the first high school that the Confucius Institute at Coventry University co-established. There are short Chinese classes every Wednesday. It’s like a door to a brand-new world that appeals students to learn Chinese and understand China. Students participate actively and even some faculty members often attend the class. The delegation attended Chinese classes of Yijing Bai, a volunteer from Sun Yat-sen University, The enthusiasm of all the students in class overwhelmed Xiaoping Wang. Therefore, he improvised and explained some class content in English, and was warmly welcomed by the students. Xiaoping Wang also sent traditional calligraphies as a special gift to the school principal, the academic dean and three excellent students. The school principal considered it so precious that he said he would definitely frame and well preserve it. There was a little story. Headmaster of the Nicholas Chamberlain High School said there was a girl who loved China and she was interested in economics. Xiaoping Wang replied that he could provide help and sincerely welcome her to study in JUFE. Moreover, they discussed the possibility to build up cooperative relationship between Nicholas Chamberlain High School and the affiliated middle school of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics.