Bangor University establishes Confucius Institute
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Bangor University and Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) on 17 April 2012 at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to set up a Confucius Institute at Bangor University in collaboration with China University of Political Science & Law, Beijing.
As one of the UK China cultural, education, and business collaborative agreements signing, the ceremony was witnessed by member of Standing Committee of Politburo of China, Mr LI Changchun and UK Foreign Secretary, Mr William Hague.
Following the agreement signing with Ms Xu Lin, Director-General of Hanban, the Vice Chancellor of Bangor University, Professor John G. Hughes commented:
"This is a major initiative for Bangor University. Chinese culture is playing an increasingly important role in regional and global economic development, and is making its presence felt in a variety of international arenas, including here in the North Wales region.
“The establishment of the Confucius Institute at Bangor University will provide a suitable base from which to help foster understanding of Chinese culture among the people of the region who, recent surveys show, are very interested in learning more about many different facets of Chinese culture.
“We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with China University of Political Science & Law. The two Universities share the same vision for a Confucius Institute with a distinct Law flavour.
“In addition, I am confident that the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Bangor will provide our students and the local community with unprecedented access to many remarkable aspects of Chinese culture, such as Chinese music, cuisine, language, history, calligraphy and traditions, and make a new contribution to cultural exchange and understanding between our two nations and peoples."
The President of China University of Political Science & Law, Professor HUANG Jin has warmly welcomed the announcement, observing that:
“Confucius was the most famous thinker, educator and philosopher in ancient China. His theory of "Zhong (Loyalty)", "Shu (Tolerance)" and "Zhong Yong (Golden Mean)" is seen as the essence of Chinese culture and has far-reaching influence on the formation and development of Chinese traditions. Adam Smith, the world-famous economist, ethicist and philosopher in British history, formulated his theory of "sympathy", "tolerance" and "the behaviour of appropriateness" in his landmark book The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759. Both Confucius and Adam Smith focused on the harmony of human beings and society. Eastern and the Western cultures share common values, which are pursued through different paths.
“Bangor University is a world renowned University, with its long cultural tradition and high quality education. China University of Politic Science & Law is a leading University in Chinese legal education, and is committed to establishing a society based on rule of law, economic development, cultural prosperity and social harmony. The common pursuit and mission between the two institutions has fuelled the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Bangor University. I believe that the establishment of the Confucius Institute with Law flavour will deepen the cooperation and communication between the two institutions as well as the two countries.”
Bangor's up and coming Law School has extensive links with several of China's top law schools and regularly attracts top students and law professors from China.
"We now want to take things a step further,” explained Professor Dermot Cahill, Head of Bangor Law School. "The Chinese come here learning about us, now it is time for us to learn more about them. This is wonderful news for the North Wales region and Bangor University. The President of CUPL is himself a distinguished legal scholar in his own right, so it is clear that both Universities' Vice Chancellors support this initiative at the highest level, and confirm that this Institute's success will be a top priority for both Universities and the enhancement of wider cultural understanding."
The Confucius Institute will be formally launched in September 2012. The Director General of Hanban, Ms Xu Lin and a delegation of faculties and students from China University of Political Science & Law led by President Huang are expected to attend the launch event.
Confucius Institutes provide people all over the world he opportunities to learn about Chinese language and culture. In addition they have become a platform for cultural exchanges between China and the world as well as a bridge reinforcing friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. By the end of 2010, 322 Confucius Institutes and 369 Confucius Classrooms had been established in 96 countries, amongst them some of the world's top universities.
Confucius Institutes/Classrooms adopt flexible teaching patterns and adapt to suit local conditions when teaching Chinese language and promoting culture in foreign primary schools, secondary schools, communities and enterprises.
Publication date: 25 April 2012