On the afternoon of April 9th, the fifth anniversary celebration of the Confucius Institute at Coventry University was held in the Concert Hall of the School of Art at JUFE. Chaired by Vice President Liu Xiaoli, the event was attended by Councillor Ann Lucas, Mayor of Coventry City, Prof. John Latham, Vice Chancellor and CEO of Coventry University, Zhang Jin, Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Zhao Lingshan, Secretary General of Chinese International Language Foundation, Dr. David Pillsbury, Deputy Vice Chancellor and British Director of Confucius Institute at Coventry University, Mr. Chen Tongdu, Executive Director of the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation, JUFE President Deng Hui, Prof. Liu Youfa, Co-director of Confucius Institute at Coventry University and 14 British directors and Co-directors from other Confucius Institutes and other 200 guests gathered together through online and offline platforms to taste Chinese culture.
Ann Lucas spoke highly of the achievements of the Confucius Institute at Coventry University in the past five years. She stated that the Confucius Institute not only disseminates traditional Chinese culture around Coventry, but also injected great vitality to the whole city. It gave full play to its role as a non-governmental messenger to promote cultural exchanges between China and Britain, won the praise and respect of the local people, and became a solid bridge connecting the people of China and Britain. She also thanked the Confucius Institute for its outstanding contributions to Coventry in terms of people-to-people and cultural exchanges and hoped that it would further carry out cooperation in the fields of education and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Zhao Lingshan, on behalf of Chinese International Education Foundation, extended warm congratulations to the celebration. He said that as the fervor for Chinese culture continues to spread in the UK, Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms have played an active role in learning Chinese and increasing knowledge of Chinese culture among British people. Mr. Zhao pointed out that in the future, Chinese International Education Foundation will work with friends from all circles in China and Britain to pool social forces to better aid the development of the Confucius Institute and international Chinese education, provide more support to Confucius Institutes around the world, including the Confucius Institute at Coventry University, through a variety of ways, and jointly promote the sustainable and high-quality development of the Confucius Institute.
David Pillsbury applauded the contributions made by the Confucius Institute in academic exchanges and cooperation, cultural transmission and educational development. He placed high hopes for the cooperation in the next five years. In his speech, he declared that in the past five years, an increasing number of British students have come to Coventry University to learn traditional Chinese culture. The Confucius Institute has successfully created plenty of regional brand activities for cultural exchanges between China and Britain, which established a good image and reputation in the local area. It is precisely because of the solidarity and sincere cooperation of all the faculty members of the Confucius Institute that thousands of British Students gain practical knowledge of Chinese language and understand the history and culture of the Chinese. Mr. Pillsbury also expressed his gratitude to the Confucius Institute for its teaching team, Chinese language teaching and other teaching materials, saying that Coventry University will continue to support the development of the Confucius Institute.
Deng Hui sent his sincere congratulations to the ceremony, highly appreciated the achievements of the Confucius Institute, and thanked all the staff of the Confucius Institute who have been sticking to their posts during the pandemic. As the youngest Confucius Institute in the UK, the Confucius Institute at Coventry University has been adhering to the motto of “mutual respect, friendly consultation, equality and mutual benefits” and has achieved breakthroughs in Chinese teaching, Chinese culture understanding, university-level academic exchanges and cooperation, and Sino-British business contacts. He expressed his hope that the Confucius Institute would stick to the role of a bridge that connects Chinese people and people around the world, further implement the Chinese plus project and build skills-and-business-oriented courses on the basis of JUFE realities, so as to establish practical cooperation platforms featuring JUFE’s internationalization, to finally realize JUFE’s dream of developing into a prestigious institution with a hundred years' history and build a community with a shared future.
Liu Xiaoli said that despite the distance over seven time zones and tens of thousands of kilometers, we can still feel the guests’ passion for the exchanges between China and the UK. With the joint efforts of JUFE and CU, the Confucius Institute at Coventry University continues to innovate and thrive, becoming one of the most influential Confucius Institutes in the UK and even in Europe. She hoped that the two universities would continue to deepen cooperation and work together to promote cultural exchanges between China and Britain.
The subsequent performances took spring, hope, friendship and Chinese culture as themes, bringing a rich audiovisual feast of Chinese culture to the guests, teachers and students at home and abroad. Additionally, the students from the Confucius Institute at Coventry University shared their learning achievements through a video and gave birthday wishes.
The Confucius Institute was officially inaugurated in May 2016. In the past five years, the Confucius Institute has carried out extensive promotion of the Chinese culture along with establishing cultural exchange activities in and around Coventry. In the future, it will continue to facilitate cultural, economic and trade exchanges between China and Britain, and serve the “Belt and Road” initiative and the community with a shared future for mankind.