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University launches the South’s first Confucius Institute

Published: 31 October 2011

A new centre to promote chinese culture and language was launched today (Monday 31 October) at the University of Southampton. The new Confucius Institute is part of a growing global network which includes 17 centres in the UK. The Institute has been created to promote China, its history and culture to university students, local businesses and schools.

“We are honoured to have selected to set up a Confucius Institute here in Southampton,” comments Mark Cranshaw, who is leading the project at the University of Southampton. He adds: “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.”

Staff at the Institute will visit schools in Hampshire to give taster sessions of the chinese language, Mandarin, as well as calligraphy, culture and history lessons. Local businesses and undergraduates at the University will also be given the opportunity of learning Mandarin.

The University launched the Institute in partnership with Xiamen University, located on the south east coast of China. Its President, Zhu Chongshi, the Chinese Ambassador HE Mr Xiaoming Liu, Sir Leonard Appleyard, former British Ambassador to China and senior fellow at the University of Southampton’s Centre for Contemporary China, and the University’s Vice Chancellor, officially opened the new Institute in a ceremony today in Southampton.

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