Opening doors: Prof Nan Yeld, dean of the Centre for Higher Education and Development and chair of the board of the Chinese Institute (second from left), and deputy vice-chancellor Prof Jo Beall (middle) with Confucius Institute delegates.
UCT students will have the opportunity to study Mandarin and learn about China’s culture with its new Confucius Institute, which was officially launched on 19 January.
A non-profit, public organisation, the Confucius Institute promotes Chinese language and culture throughout the world. The UCT branch is the fourth in the country, and joins over 280 Confucius Institutes in 83 countries around the world.
Housed in the Centre for Higher Education and Development (CHED), the institute’s Mandarin courses will be open to students as well as people outside UCT.
Attending the launch was XU Ningsheng, vice-president of UCT partner, the Sun Yat-Sen University, who unveiled the Confucius Institute plaque with the chair of the board of the Chinese Institute, deputy vice-chancellor Professor Jo Beall.
“We are happy to have finally come to this point after a long process, when we can reach out and extend the university’s global network with the Confucius Centre,” said Beall.
“We want our graduates to have the skills to engage in a globalised world. To do so they need to be multilingual, as emerging markets such as China and South Africa are changing the face of the global economy.
“The Chinese Institute will aid UCT in transformation and promoting diversity. We would like to see more people from China adding to our diversity, so that we can work towards a better world for all of us. Thank you for choosing UCT, and we look forward to working together.”