UCL News


President Xi Jinping joins UCL at Confucius Institute conference celebrating Mandarin teaching in UK schools

22 October 2015

UCL today welcomed President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China and HRH The Duke of York to the opening ceremony of the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference.

Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping and HRH the Duke of York spoke at the ceremony after being welcomed by Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, and Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the UCL Institute of Education. In his address Professor Arthur highlighted the work of the Confucius Institute:

"The merger with the Institute of Education has meant that UCL now houses the UCL IOE Confucius Institute, which is entirely in keeping with our global ethos and with the pressing need to support children in Britain's schools in language learning. The work which is being undertaken by all the Confucius Institutes represented here today is a crucial part of British engagement in an inter-connected world."

Students from Robin Hood Primary School, Birmingham sang in front of 200 delegates including vice-chancellors from 27 UK universities, representatives from the 29 Confucius Institutes across the UK and head schoolteachers from China and Britain who work with the UCL IOE Confucius Institute to support Mandarin teaching and learning in schools.

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A student from Lancaster University read a poem in Chinese before a plaque celebrating Hautlieu School, Jersey as the 1000th Confucius Classroom was unveiled by the President of China.

Throughout the day hundreds more delegates will gather at UCL to meet with other Confucius Classroom teachers and hear from University Chancellors and Presidents including Zhu Shanlu, Chancellor of Peking University and Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield University.

The UCL IOE Confucius Institute was formed in July 2007 and nearly 10,000 students in British primary and secondary schools are now learning Mandarin supported by IOE Confucius Classrooms.



  • Chinese president, Xi Jinping at the conference