London Confucius Institute, UK
London Confucius Institute was co-built by Beijing Foreign Studies University and School of Oriental and African Studies of University of London in June, 2013. Since its establishment, London Confucius Institute has made considerable progress in all respects, particularly in the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test and the Confucius Institute Scholarship application. In 2014, through the joint efforts of Chinese and British directors and faculty members, it has made historic breakthrough in the following aspects.
- Chinese Language Teaching Activities
Courses offered by London Confucius Institute can be divided into: SOAS Department of Chinese curriculum, Chinese language courses for primary and secondary schools, Business Chinese courses, HSK / HSKK courses, Chinese culture introductory courses. In 2014, the number of registered students of the whole academic year reached 567, an increase of 126.8% over last year.
(1) SOAS Department of Chinese curriculum. Confucius Institute teachers are responsible for teaching part of the courses of undergraduates and postgraduates in SOAS Department of Chinese curriculum, including elementary Chinese listening course for the first grade, grammar and writing courses for the third grade, Special Chinese 2, Special Chinese 4, Special Chinese 5, Practical Translation courses for Master students, etc. In 2014, the number of students reached 215.
(2) Chinese language courses for primary and secondary schools. In 2014, the Institute offered basic Chinese language courses for one primary school and one middle school, with a total of 182 students.
(3) Business Chinese courses. In 2014, the Institute opened up Standard Bank Business Chinese course, Wanda Business Chinese course, one-on-one Business Chinese course, Chinese language courses for undergraduate students of Dauphine University of Paris, with a total of 18 students.
(4) HSK/HSKK counseling and education courses. In response to the needs of the HSK candidates, in 2014, the Institute offered the HSK/HSKK tutorial courses and teaching courses, with a total of 45 students.
(5) Chinese culture introductory courses. In order to expand the influence of Chinese language and culture, in 2014, the Institute offered a number of Chinese calligraphy courses, and the number of students reached 314 .
- HSK Chinese Test
2014 was a year of remarkable achievement for the promotion of HSK Chinese Test, The number of candidates of HSK/HSKK reached 535, doubled that of 2013. In June, 2014, London Confucius Institute held the first YCT Test, in which a total of 128 high school students took part, laying a good foundation for the Confucius Institute to organize more YCT Tests in the future.
By the end of January, 2014, London Confucius Institute recommended four candidates for the New Sinology Doctoral Scholarship Program to Hanban as a result of strict selection through, HSK Chinese Proficiency Test, etc..
In mid-July, 2014, London Confucius Institute successfully completed scholarship selection; 28 recommended students received the Confucius Institute scholarship.
In terms of HSK, the number of candidates reached 535 in 2014, which doubled that of 2013, marking notable achievements.
- Cultural Activities
Since November, 2013, the Institute has held 44 various cultural activities, attracting 7,560 participants. These activities mainly include:
- Exhibitions: 2014 Spring photographic exhibition A Glimpse of China, photographic exhibition Four Seasons in China, Chinese calligraphy exhibition The Pursuit of Invisibility. These exhibitions involved various topics including Chinese people, Chinese customs, Chinese cities, Chinese scenery and Chinese arts, etc. Through this platform, visitors can see the development and the changes in China, and can have a taste of Chinese culture.
(2) Cultural Introductory Activities: On January 19, the Institute participated in the Chinese Culture Festival held by Victoria & Albert Museum in London and held an exhibition of Chinese calligraphy and paper-cutting, attracting more than 300 audience. On January 31, upon the Chinese New Year of horse, the Institute invited 250 guests including students from School of Oriental and African Studies of London University and the social elites to the New Year party. On July 1, the Institute co-organized “China Day” for the first time together with Stanchester Academy, and more than 800 students and faculties participated in our activities. On November 3, the Institute held the “Calligraphy Night in British Museum”. More than 200 visitors from all over the world took part in the experience tour of Chinese calligraphy. In the year 2014, the Institute organized Chinese Corner activities regularly, providing a good communicative platform for local people who are interested in Chinese and English culture.
- Seminars and Forums: On May 16, Yun Ping, famous Chinese calligrapher,, and Zhao Yizhou, a Chinese calligrapher in the UK, shared their thoughts on traditional calligraphy and modern calligraphy in an open dialogue. The number of participants of the seminar reached over 60. On May 18, the forum themed “Cultural Differences, Cultural Diversities, Cultural Communications” was held in School of Oriental and African Studies of London University, where play writers from China, the UK and Israel, people from theatrical community shared their ideas, attracting over 80 audience. On May 30, the Institute held a seminar about Robert Morisso. Professors and scholars from Central Academy of Craft Art and 30 students and teachers of School of Oriental and African Studies of London University attended the seminar. On October 14, 15, and 17, the Institute invited Professor Wang Yibing to give three seminars about Chinese higher education; students and teachers from School of Oriental and African Studies, Institution of Education of London University, and The London School of Economics and Political Science attended the seminar. On October 23, Zhao Yizhou, a Chinese calligrapher in the UK, hosted a calligraphy seminar which attracted much attention from the media and the public.
- Confucius Institute Day: On September 26 and 27, the Institute assisted Confucius Institute Headquarters to organize the “Confucius Institute Day”. Among various activities, the exhibition of Chinese culture and the promotion of curriculum and programs of Confucius Institute were the main focus, underlining the charm of Chinese culture in the UK and aiming at deepening UK people’s understanding of Chinese language and culture. The activity was well received by the participators, and the number of visitors exceeded 2,000. The event was reported by Xinhua News Agency and people.com.cn.
- Academic and Scientific Researches
London Confucius Institute puts much weight on academic research and exchange. With the assistance of School of Oriental and African Studies of London University, the Institute integrated leading Sinologists and scholars and conducted high level of academic exchanges.
On February 3, 2014, with the help of A.C Graham, the Institute invited Professor AMES from Hawaii University, whose research interest is Chinese Philosophy. He once hosted Nishan Forum and have been an invited expert of Hanban. We held two seminars about Confucius and Confucianism, and offered a master’s class. Exchange of ideas was conducted among Sinology postgraduate students and doctoral students from London University, Cambridge University and Oxford University.
On February 7, 2014, cooperating with CHINANEXT, the Institute held a modern Chinese Social Forum—“Social Development and Civil Society: Dialogue Between the UK and China”. The lecturers were: Wu Chong (Adream Foundation CEO), Dr. Tim Pringle (Lecturer in Labor, Social Movements and Development, SOAS), Erika Helms (Managing Director and Chief Consultant at Linking China Ltd), Sam Geall (Executive Editor, chinadialogue.net), Thomas Zhang (Production Editor at ftchinese.com, The Financial Times).
Looking ahead, London Confucius Institute will continue to pay much attention to Hanban/ the Headquarters’ academic projects, focus on the the promotion of Chinese language teaching, Chinese Tests, Confucius Institute Scholarship, Confucius China Studies Program, Chinese Bridge Competition and other activities at all levels, and enhance in-depth academic exchange and cooperation between Chinese and British institutes. We will continue to make efforts to better serve as a bridge and to make greater progress in Confucius Institute teaching and management.
Address: Room 4420, The London Confucius Institute SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square London WC1H 0XG UK
Contacts: Director of London Confucius Institute Ann Pauwels, Vice Director of London Confucius Institute Xuan Li, Chinese Confucius Institute Director Li E
Tel: +44 (0)20-7898-4887/4880
Fax: +44 (0)20-7898-4009
(As of December 31, 2014)