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UCL Institute of Education launches new Mandarin teaching hub

23 June 2017

(L-R) Mandarin-speaking pupils from Finham Park School joined Chinese Embassy Minister Zhu Qin, UCL Provost Michael Arthur, Peking University President Lin Jianhua and UCL Vice-Provost International Dame Nicola Brewer to officially open the new UCL IOE Model Confucius Institute building in London

The UCL Institute for Education (IOE) Confucius Institute yesterday opened its new teacher training and research facility. 

The respective presidents of UCL and Peking University (PKU), Professor Michael Arthur and Professor Lin Jianhua, cut the ribbon in a ceremony at the fully refurbished centre in Woburn Square.

The Institute is a bilateral collaboration between UCL, PKU and Peking University High School, supported by Hanban.

It aims to train enough teachers of Mandarin Chinese to give every secondary school in England the opportunity to teach Chinese.

There are currently more than 9,000 students studying Chinese on curriculum in 45 IOE Confucius Classrooms, with Chinese GCSE entries having grown by 70% since 2008. It is hoped that the work of the IOE Confucius Institute will continue this trajectory in years to come.

The new teacher training facility will increase the number of Chinese teachers trained significantly, providing schools with a reliable supply of teachers with the most effective language teaching skills.

One of the new rooms in the UCL IOE Confucius Institute building, incorporating Chinese and British design

Katharine Carruthers, IOE Confucius Institute Director and UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (East Asia) said: “The IOE Confucius Institute building sits at the heart of our strategy to achieve our goal to develop a solid infrastructure for teaching Chinese, and will play a key role in enabling the training of teachers to deliver the effective teaching and learning of Chinese language in schools in England.”

The interior design also celebrates cross-cultural encounters: promoting Chinese culture, with the colour and material palette being inspired by traditional Chinese paintings and furniture, in combination with a number of British furnishings that showcase the quality and continuity of British craftsmanship.

The UCL IOE Confucius Institute, which opened in 2007, is one example of the many bilateral collaborations between PKU and UCL, across a wide range of disciplines from medical sciences and city planning to language education and archaeology.

UCL Provost Michael Arthur and Peking University President Lin Jianhua highlighted the deep strategic partnership between the two universities during the UCL IOE Model Confucius Institute building opening ceremony

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur said: “I'm delighted to welcome President Lin to UCL once again; this time to the wonderful new facility at the IOE Confucius Institute. The new building will play a key role in enabling the teaching and learning of Mandarin in England and have huge long-term benefits for children and young people as well as for the development of bilateral relationships between the UK and China.”

PKU President, Professor Lin Jianhua said: “It's an honour to be invited to open the Model Confucius Institute at UCL. We’re very happy to be working with UCL to promote Chinese culture and language in the UK, as part of our deep strategic partnership.”