XMU Delegation Pays Visit to South Africa and Convenes CISU Council

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University [Time]    2018-05-03 13:35:25 

From April 11th to 14th, local time, a delegation from Xiamen University(XMU) headed by Vice President Zhan Xinli of XMU and Ren Genghu, Deputy Director of the Southern Base of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Office of Confucius Institute Affairs) of XMU, were invited to attend the centennial anniversary of Stellenbosch University(SU) in South Africa and convened the Confucius Institute Stellenbosch University (CISU) Council. In addition, a visit was also paid by Ms. Zhan and her company to Kang Yong, Chinese Consul General in Cape Town, and some CISU alumni, followed by an inspection to the teaching centers of CISU with best regards sent to the teachers there.

At the centennial celebration and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of SU International Division, Ms. Zhan, as the only representative for international cooperation, was invited to give a speech. She congratulated SU for its achievements over the past century and recognized the contributions by CISU in promoting cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two universities and the two countries. On behalf of XMU, Ms. Zhan presented a gift to SU with President Wim de Villiers accepting it.

Ms. Zhan(R) presenting a gift to SU

The delegation, together with Hester Klopper, Vice President of SU and other members of CISU Board of Directors convened the 2018 CISU Council, in which the work plan was reviewed and major issues concerning CISU construction studied. The two presidents reached a further consensus on the promotion and deepening of inter-university exchanges and made constructive suggestions on the development of CISU in the new year. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary since CISU¡¯s establishment. Taking it as an opportunity, both parties will work to enhance the influence of CISU and deepen Chinese teaching.

The delegation paid a visit to Kang Yong, Chinese Consul General in Cape Town, who extended his warm welcome and fully recognized the progress made by CISU in promoting Chinese language and culture in Cape Town. He further pointed out that recent years have also witnessed breakthroughs in teaching achievements, scale expansion and curriculum forms.

Ms. Zhan also expressed her sincere gratitude to Kang Yong and the Consulate General for their enduring care and support for the development of CISU over the past years. XMU has always been at the forefront in terms of the construction and development of the Confucius Institute, she stated, hoping to further strengthen exchanges and mutual understanding with SU, and to promote the inter-university academic cooperation and exchanges via Confucius Institute.

XMU delegation and Kang Yong( third from right)

Prof. Wim Tijmens, an 85-year-old botanist at SU and also the oldest student learning Chinese there, has made 17 visits to China so far, during which time he collected a large number of Chinese paintings and crafts. With the strong support of CISU and SU Museum, he organized three years ago an exhibition displaying his personal collection of Chinese artworks, causing quite a sensation in the local area. Ms. Zhan and her delegation called on Wim and brought him postcards of Xiamen and XMU as well as traditional Chinese artworks. Wim said in excitement, ¡°The CISU has been expanding ever since its establishment. At present, a Chinese teaching circle centering on SU has been formed and serves as a locomotive in the local community, making Chinese language and culture known to every household with many excellent Chinese-learners being cultivated.¡±

Ms. Zhan pointed out that CISU should accelerate the construction of the Alumni Association, so as to provide a broader platform for the development of students there.

In addition, the delegation also paid a visit to Paul Roos Gymnasium, a new teaching center set up by CISU. With a history of 150 years or so, Paul Roos Gymnasium has successfully cultivated three South African prime ministers during the Union of South Africa. Rector Andre van Staden expressed his warm welcome to the delegation from XMU.

The delegation paid a visit to the History Memorial of the school and attended the Chinese classes where Ms. Zhan introduced students to the long history of XMU and encouraged them to study there in the future.

Despite the tight schedule, the delegation also extended their regards to the Chinese Director of CISU, public Chinese teachers and volunteers. Ms. Zhan pointed out that every public teacher and volunteer shoulders the important responsibilities to spread Chinese culture and build the image of China. Teachers should, by applying the four spirits characteristic of XMU (Patriotism, Revolutionary spirit, Scientific spirit and Self-improvement) to their work£¬make innovations and strive to achieve new results. It is her hope that these teachers communicate with our international friends in the local area on a regular basis, and vigorously promote CISU in China so as to make it truly flourish.

The delegation calling on CISU teachers and volunteers

With a boost in exchanges between the two universities, the visit lays a solid foundation for the future development of both parties. It also cemented the achievements of CISU serving the local community with enhanced cohesion. As both a participant and practitioner of Chinese culture, CISU will take the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity to establish a dialogue mechanism based on equal exchanges among different cultures and to make unremitting efforts in promoting cultural exchanges and common development between the two countries.

Story by Wang Ruibo