The 13th Confucius Institute Conference was held in Chengdu from December 4th to December 5th, which attracted more than 1,500 Chinese and foreign representatives from over 150 countries and regions. Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier and Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, attended the Opening Ceremony and delivered a speech. Sun Chunlan pointed out that the Chinese government has long been promoting cross-cultural communication and actively supporting cooperation between China and other countries on running Confucius Institutions. The Opening Ceremony was hosted by Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education and Vice Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters. Li Yuanyuan, the Council member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and president of Huazhong University of Science and Technology attended the conference.
Before the Opening Ceremony, Sun Chunlan attended the meeting of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and studied the work arrangement for Confucius Institutions.During the Council meeting, representatives made speeches respectively. Li Yuanyuan delivered a speech and pointed out that the Confucius Institute has become a comprehensive platform for the opening up and cooperation of higher educational institutions of different countries after years of development. The Confucius Institute not only promotes language education and cultural exchanges, but also is an important platform for enhancing mutual understanding and promoting in-depth cooperation. With the continuous changes of international structure, the Confucius Institution is facing a new era when opportunities and challenges co-exist, with opportunities outweighing challenges. In recent years, the Confucius Institute is faced with desirable developmental opportunities, and in the meantime, with challenges of improving inner quality and enhancing efficiency. But we firmly believe that the great cause of the Confucius Institute will have a brighter future as long as it is beneficial for the people of all nations and the development of its hosting universities.
Li Yuanyuan pointed out that the development ideas of the Confucius Institutes in the new era are: taking root in education, focusing on qualitative developments, seeking steady improvement, and striving for excellence. In the future, the Confucius Institutes will continue working from the following seven aspects: remaining true to our original aspiration, facing the problem directly, innovating the ideas, improving the methods, increasing the input, improving the qualities and establishing the first-class Confucius Institutes.
During the conference, President Li Yuanyuan, together with Vice President Chen Jianguo, and Vice President of Jilin University Zheng Weitao held a joint conference with the representatives from 3 Confucius Institutes from HUST and 5 Confucius Institutes from Jilin University. Our university shared the achievements of the joint meeting mechanism of the Confucius Institutes of Jilin University. Both sides expressed that all Confucius Institutes should expand cooperation network, closely connected with each other and enhance mutual learning.
During the conference, Barbara Malveira Orfanom, director of the Confucius Institute of Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and John Brender, director of the Confucius Institute of Wayne State University, United States, shared their experiences on 2 topics, which are “how to optimize the budget report of the Confucius Institute” and “how to organize better activities for Chinese Festivals in Confucius Institute”.
It is reported that China has established 548 Confucius Institutes and 1193 Confucius Classrooms in 154 countries and regions. According to the Constitution of Confucius Institute, the Confucius Institute Headquarters has established the Council board which is a joint governing body of the headquarters, consisting of Chinese and foreigner board members. There are 15 Chinese and foreign Council members of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, 10 of whom are the presidents of the overseas universities or people with high social reputation, and 5 are representatives from Chinese cooperative agencies. In 2015, Li Yuanyuan was appointed as a Council member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and resumed his position in 2017.
HUST has jointly established 3 Confucius Institutes with 13 Confucius Classrooms in the United States, Brazil and New Zealand, which offer superior Chinese language education to more than 20,000 students in 2018. The Confucius Institute of Canterbury University was awarded as the 2017 Confucius Institute of the year globally and Bradley Meredith, student of Confucius Institute of Canterbury University won the championship of the global Chinese Bridge competition for university students. Professor HU Hong, the first Chinese director of CIUC was entitled with the Honorary Citizen of Christchurch in 2015. John Brender, director of the Confucius Institute in Wayne State University, was awarded with 2015 Confucius Institute Individual Performance by the Confucius Institute Headquarter.
On December 4th, President Li Yuanyuan and his colleagues also held a discussion with Mr Hua Xin, the President of Sichuan Alumni Association and other alumni members. The director of Alumni Office and Dean of School of International Education attended the activities.