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The University of Southampton
The Confucius Institute

Chinese directors of the Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton completed the handover of duties

Published: 29 February 2024
Dr. Jiangzhi Zhang

Amidst the echoing sound of fireworks, the University of Southampton welcomed its new Chinese Director, Dr. Jiangzhi Zhang.

A seamless transition unfolded between the outgoing and incoming Chinese directors. Despite the challenges of a three-year pandemic during her four-year term, the ex-Chinese Director Dr Ruoling Zheng made significant achievements. Ruoling Zheng and the British Director Ying Zheng collaborated closely, guiding the Confucius Institute to inherit and innovate, establishing a distinctive educational feature of "rooting in the campus, facing the community, promoting education through culture, and improving quality through research."

Since November of the previous year, Jiangzhi has gradually conducted the handover work with Ruoling online. He arrived in Southampton on 15 February 2024 and was welcomed by Ruoling drove all the way to the airport.  The outgoing and incoming directors engaged in a five-day face-to-face handover. On the 16 February, the core members of the Confucius Institute hosted a small welcome and farewell ceremony for both directors. On the 19 February, Miguel Mera, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Bryony Whitmarsh, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and Ying Zheng, the Director of Confucius Institute held a welcome and farewell meeting with the outgoing and incoming Chinese directors.

Ruoling expressed her gratitude for the support of her colleagues at the university and the Confucius Institute over the past four years, both in her work and personal life. She emphasized that she treasures this memorable journey and sincere friendships cultivated during this time.

Dr. Jiangzhi Zhang, an associate professor at Xiamen University, holds degrees from Sichuan Normal University, Peking University, and the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His primary focus is on the research of grammar and contrastive linguistics. Jiangzhi expressed gratitude to Ruoling for her assistance in both professional and personal matters and commented the positive work atmosphere at the University of Southampton. He eagerly anticipates joining the big family of the Confucius Institute and collaborating with colleagues to create a better future.

Reflecting on the past, the Confucius Institute has steadily progressed through storms and winds; looking ahead, the Confucius Institute is poised to set sail on a new journey, continue to write a glorious chapter.

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