12th Global Confucius Institute Conference

12th Global CI Conference

Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong speaking at the opening ceremony of the 12th Global Confucius Institute Conference. Image credits to Mark Baillie, Finham Park School

The 12th Global Confucius Institute Conference took place last week in Xi’an, the capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. The event welcomed over 2,000 delegates from across the world, including university presidents, scholars, Confucius Institute directors and educational officers.

During the conference Pro-Vice Provost of UCL (East Asia) and Director of the UCL IOE Confucius Institute Katharine Carruthers chaired a session for Confucius Institute directors, which aimed to explore how Confucius institutes can build the capacity of teaching staff. During the session, which involved speakers from across Europe, Russia and the Americas, Katharine talked about the strategies employed by the UCL IOE Confucius Institute.

Katharine also spoke at the Presidents’ forum, in a session which looked at demand-orientated development strategies for Confucius Institutes. In this talk she looked at both the intrinsic and extrinsic demands of developing Mandarin within the context of the English education system.

The conference saw UCL IOE Confucius Classroom Finham Park School awarded the prestigious title of Confucius Classroom of the Year.

Executive Headteacher Mark Baillie stated “This is a fantastic achievement for Finham Park and for Coventry … I would like to thank Helen Lewis, Danni Yan and the staff of our MFL Department, together with the students and their parents for supporting this initiative and making it so successful.”

Finham Park School has held Confucius Classroom status for 7 years, and the award recognised its work in the development of Mandarin teaching and the schools long standing links with its sister school’s in Shanghai. The school is one of 1,113 Confucius Classrooms set up in 146 countries across the world.

In 2016 the school also joined the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Progamme, which will see 5,000 students in England on their way to fluency in Mandarin by 2020.