Confucius Institute leads world

For the fourth consecutive year, the University’s Confucius Institute has been honoured as ‘Institute of the Year’.

The Institute of the Year 2010 Award was collected in Beijing by Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea. It was bestowed upon the Confucius Institute for Scotland by Hanban, sponsor of the global network of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.

The prizegiving was a highlight of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifth Worldwide Conference of Confucius Institutes on Friday, 10 December.The ceremony, at the China National Convention Centre, was chaired by Chinese State Councillor Liu Yandong and Minister of Education, Yuan Guiren.

The Principal received the award in front of an audience of more than 3000 people including VIPs from foreign embassies, senior government officials and principals from universities around the world.

Both the Principal and the Director of the Confucius Institute, Professor Natascha Gentz, gave presentations at the President’s and Director’s Forums on the following day of the Worldwide Conference.

Many institutions recruit Chinese students or provide language training. What sets the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the University apart is the depth of our engagement – we actively promote new cultural ties and educational links between Scotland and China. This award shows that our approach is recognised and rewarded at the highest levels.” Professor Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

World leading activities

There are now 322 Confucius Institutes and 369 Confucius Classrooms in 96 countries, serving almost 400,000 learners.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh was established in 2005 as a partnership between the University and Fudan University in Shanghai.

The Institute’s work in 2010 included hosting a touring exhibition on the city of Shanghai and the 2010 Expo and working in partnership with China’s Ministry of Culture to bring ethnic performers to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These were among the highlights of a packed schedule of conferences, lectures and film screenings. The institute also runs a programme of Chinese language classes.