University of Southampton has just announced the launching of a new centre promoting Chinese culture and language. Linked to the Centre for Contemporary China, the Confucius Institute will help establishing the University of Southampton as one of the main sites in the UK for China studies.
Professor Lu Maozy, the Director of both Centre for Contemporary China and Confucius Institute, explains the importance of focusing on Chinese culture:
China is now a major player in our global economy. Understanding the country and its language is vital and will give our region an advantage in the future.
To promote the learning of the Chinese language, a team will visit different schools in Hampshire and give taster sessions in, for example, Mandarin and calligraphy. Students and staff at the University will also benefit from an expansion in Mandarin teaching.
The Confucius Institute is not only supported by Centre for Contemporary China, but also by the Xiamen University in China. When launched last week, the Xiamen President Zhu Chongshi attended the ceremony, as well as the Vice-Cancellor of University of Southampton, Professor Don Nutbeam, and the Chinese Ambassador HE Liu Xiaoming.
The Confucius Institute is a worldwide educational organisation, founded in 2004.