IOE Confucius Institute Team

Katharine Carruthers 杜可歆

IOE Confucius Institute Director
& Global Strategic Academic Advisor (China)

Katharine Carruthers is the Director of  IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society’s Confucius Institute for Schools; she is also UCL’s Global Strategic Academic Advisor (China).

Katharine plays a leading role in promoting and developing the study of Chinese in schools in England. This work has been made possible by the IOE Confucius Institute and 44 Confucius Classrooms – in partnership with Peking University and Peking University High School. The IOE Confucius Institute is an outstanding example of successful international partnership working.

Katharine is an experienced teacher and examiner of Chinese. She is the series editor of the textbooks for teaching Chinese for 11-16 year olds and wrote the specification for the Cambridge Pre-U Mandarin Chinese qualification. Katharine teaches on the IOE’s PGCE Languages course and on the MA in Intercultural Communication. She is the Strategic Director for IOE’s delivery of the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Her research interests centre around teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language in schools, the notion of intercultural competence in Chinese and UK schools and language policy.

As Global Strategic Academic Advisor (China), Katharine plays an important strategic role as a catalyst for UCL’s engagement in the region.

Katharine received an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list for her services to Education.

Matt Schofield 马涛

Confucius Institute General Manager

Matt is a graduate having achieved a BSc Honours degree from Cardiff University and a Post-Graduate MSc qualification from Manchester Metropolitan University. He has a wealth of experience working on a wide range of projects and programmes in the private, public and charity sectors, and has worked in the education sector for the past 14 years. Matt has been the general manager of the Confucius Institute since 2011 and in his role focuses on the strategic development and delivery of IOE CI and in ensuring its progress towards becoming a world leading centre for the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese in schools. Managing the IOE CI Project Team, Matt leads on the day to day delivery and management of IOE CI programmes working day to day with internal and external delivery partners, funders, headteachers and teachers amongst other stakeholders.

He has visited China on a number of occasions, often on business but always takes time to explore cultural experiences and enjoy what the country has to offer. Matt currently leads on delivery high profile programmes such as the Mandarin Excellence Programme, and has a history of delivering major projects and programmes to prepare teachers in delivering new practices. He is a PRINCE 2 accredited Project Manager.

Xiaoming Zhu 朱晓茗

National Network Coordinator

Xiaoming Zhu is the National Network Coordinator at the UCL IOE Confucius Institute. Her role is to provide support and advice to the UCL IOE Confucius Classrooms and other schools in the wider network, in their teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese, at both strategic and practical levels.

As the first Chinese national to gain UK Qualified Teacher Status, Xiaoming has rich experience in teaching Mandarin Chinese  in  schools, and particularly also in  curriculum development, resource creation and teacher training. The programmes she has led and coordinated at the IOE CI include Confucius Classrooms, British Council Chinese Language Assistants’ training, the development of the successful online teacher training courses via IOE’s Moodle platform, China based immersive teacher training, CLEC teacher programme and other initiatives. Working closely with the CI Director, Xiaoming has also played a key role in establishing and supporting  collaborations between the CI and various stakeholders  in the UK, China and other European Countries, where she has been invited to share her expertise and help strengthen international relationships.

Since 2015, Xiaoming has been part of the MFL PGCE team at the UCL Institute of Education, working as the Mandarin PGCE tutor. She is proud to be supporting the expansion of the UK’s Mandarin teaching workforce, as part of the programme at UCL IOE, judged outstanding by OFSTED.

Xiaoming holds a BA degree from Xi’an Foreign Languages University and an MA in Education from the University of Nottingham. She is also the published author of a series of teaching resources:  she co-authored the Jinbu 1, Jinbu 2 and the Edexcel GCSE Chinese textbooks written in partnership with Pearson, and Edexcel Chinese for AS with Hodder.  These resources, that cover the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese from beginners to advanced level, are widely used in schools in the UK.

Philippa Vallely 刘晓梅

Teacher Training Coordinator

Philippa Vallely (200 x 200)Philippa is responsible for the strategic planning, development, delivery and evaluation of the UCL IOE Confucius Institute for Schools’ CPD programme for Mandarin teachers in the UK. This includes pre-service and in-service training, involving multiple aspects of support, including language support, teaching for examinations and assessment, and language teaching pedagogy. This comprehensive programme caters for teachers at all levels, from total language beginner to native speakers, increasing access to Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture for teachers.

As part of the project management of teacher training, Philippa has developed courses on the UCL IOE Moodle system, ensuring that teacher training is made accessible online as well as face to face. In addition, Philippa has helped design, support and develop an online beginner’s course in Chinese, developed by experts at UCL IOE CI, launched in 2014. Since the start of the course, over 290 teachers and student teachers have accessed this free resource, supported by online classrooms, forum discussions and face to face training.

Philippa was previously Academic Director for a group of junior language education centres. Prior to that she worked in Malaysia as a teacher trainer/ mentor, on a Ministry of Education teacher development project, delivered by the British Council. Additionally she has ten years’ language teaching experience, including six years in China where she also studied Mandarin at Beijing Culture and Language University.

Philippa holds a Master’s degree in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education, an Honours degree in English and Theatre Studies from Warwick University, CELTA and a Trinity Diploma in TESOL.

Wei Jin 金薇

Teacher Training and Professional Development Coordinator 

Wei JIN trained as a teacher of Chinese as a foreign language in China. After graduating from Beijing Language and Culture University, she pursued further studies in second language education and teacher training at the University of Cambridge.  

Since 2005, Wei JIN has been teaching Chinese at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at universities including Cambridge, Birmingham, SOAS and Goldsmiths. Wei has rich experience in teacher training, curriculum and assessment design, and classroom management. She has worked with a wide range of schools on workshops, summer camps, cultural events, and various projects. 

Wei JIN is interested in practical pedagogical research, technology in teaching and learning, language learning and identity development.  

Wei JIN has been a member of the British Chinese Language Teaching Society since 2005 and was acting as Coordinator between 2008 and 2010, and Chair between 2010 and 2012. She was also a member of the Association of University Language Centres and was an executive committee member between 2010 and 2014. 

Victor Wu

Teacher Training and Professional Development Coordinator 

Victor WU is a Teacher Training and Professional Development Coordinator at the IOE CI, where he is responsible for the development and delivery of various teacher training programmes. In collaboration with other team members, he also works on supporting growth of the Mandarin Excellence Prorgamme, specifically at Key Stages 4-5, and invigoration of UCL IOE Confucius Classroom network. 

With his doctoral studies and research interests, he also works on research projects centring around semiotics and written vocabulary acquisition, teachers’ self-efficacy and teaching practice as well as teacher-research as continuing professional development. 

As a UK-qualified secondary MFL teacher, Victor has Mandarin and French teaching experience in primary, secondary and higher education in Taiwan, France, and the UK. He was responsible for the implementation, delivery, and optimisation of the Mandarin Excellence Programme at an English school. He also has experience in mentoring students in PGCE Mandarin and French, and in Master of Education programmes from universities in the UK and France.

He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education from Université Lyon 2, and completed his PGDE in Secondary Mandarin & French at the University of Aberdeen. 

Yasmin Lambert

Mandarin Excellence Programme Project Manager

Linkedin Picture YL

Yasmin joined the team as a Project Officer in October 2018. In this role she managed the update of the Beginner’s Mandarin Chinese online courses, developed the UCL IOE Confucius Institute Primary Mandarin Toolkit and supported the delivery of the wider teacher training programme.

After around 18 months in the team, Yasmin stepped in to the role of MEP Project Manager in May 2020 and is now responsible for ensuring that project outputs are planned, organised and delivered successfully.

Although a newcomer to the Chinese language, Yasmin holds a BA in German and Spanish from the University of Leeds. As part of her degree programme, Yasmin studied abroad in the Spanish city of Granada and later spent a year in rural Germany teaching English in two local secondary schools. Also while at university, Yasmin worked on an outreach programme which sought to widen participation in the study of modern foreign languages. Since university, Yasmin has worked in a range of roles related to project management across both the public and private sectors.  

Catherine Li   李荣霞

Project Officer 

Catherine joined the team in September 2022 as the Project Officer, bringing over two decades of project operation experience in crossed cultural education exchanges and partnerships to the role. She is working to support a diverse range of projects, involving the Upskilling Mandarin Program, the Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, Series of Teachers’ Training Program, Mandarin Excellence Program (MEP), and The Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) teachers Program.

After graduating from China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Catherine’s career started from recruiting international students from the China region in the late 90’s and expanded to developing educational projects for cultural exchanges, teachers’ continuous professional development, schools’ partnerships, from which she accumulated rich experience in project planning and delivery of education programs under crossed culture context.

Catherine was hugely involved in the promotion of the British education system, including outstanding teaching pedagogy, curriculum development and the systematic education framework to Chinese education authorities during the time when she worked for SSAT (former name as Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, now ‘The Schools Network) from 2006 to 2014 in iNet (International Networking for Educational Transformation, the international arm of the SSAT) China division based in Beijing.

Catherine is a highly experienced professional and is now dedicated to supporting the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese and about China across schools in England.

Naomi Jiehua Li 李洁华

Project Officer – International Liaison 


Naomi works on a variety of projects that support the core of the CI work , for example, teachers training programmes, annual Chinese teaching conference, as well as students learning experiences. As Naomi had previous experience in the media production, she co-ordinates and produces the termly newsletters for the UK and international stakeholders.

Naomi is a native Chinese speaker and has lived in the UK since 2002, and she has been part of the CI team since 2007, eye-witnessing the steady growth of the Chinese teaching and learning communities among mainstream English schools. 

Naomi has degrees in American & English Literature, International Laws, and Counselling. She also works as a counsellor (part-time), and life skills coach for students & young people. 

Outside of work, Naomi enjoys singing in UCL & a local community choir, learning to play piano and painting with a local artist group.