As part of their course programme, 22 students of the Department of International Relations visited the Confucius Institute of the University of Dubai at 10am, 27th October, 2016. The trip was headed by Dr. Calvin Xin Liu from the IR department, and the group was warmly welcomed by the Director of the CIUD, Dr. Liu Yanhui and the President of the University of Dubai, Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki.
The Confucius Institute is a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, overseen by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. The institutes operate in co-operation with local affiliate colleges and universities around the world, and financing is shared between Hanban and the host institutions. The related Confucius Classroom program partners with local secondary schools or school districts to provide teachers and instructional materials. Chinese language classes are being taught in the Institute on different levels, and scholarships are also provided by the institute to foreign students to pursue degrees or internships in China.
The Confucius Institute in the University of Dubai was established in 2011 jointly by the University of Dubai(UD) in the UAE and Ningxia University (one of the 100 key universities) in China. It is the first Confucius Institute established in the UAE and also the first in the GCC countries. The CIUD now attracts more than 100 students to study Chinese language, and it also holds Chinese cultural events on regular basis, which are strongly endorsed by the Chinese Consulate General in Dubai.
The activity started by a tour to the campus of the University of Dubai guided by the director Dr. Liu, which demonstrated to the students the close tie between the Confucius Institute and the University of Dubai. The students were all impressed by the decent facilities as well as high-quality learning environment that the University has provided to the institute. After the tour, the students were given a presentation by the director, as well as her teaching team of an overview on the missions, structure, activities and also future prospect of the Confucius Institute. It was shown with videos and images that the institute has become one of the most successful Chinese language learning centres in the Middle East. More importantly, the students were given a strong impression that the Chinese Government emphasised on its overseas cultural initiative, of which the Confucius Institute is an integral part. A Syrian student from the institute introduced his experience of learning Chinese language and multiple visits to China, which greatly stimulated the students from UoS. In the Q&A session, many students demonstrated great interest in learning Chinese language as to further access Chinese culture.
After the presentation, the students were given a series of interesting and rewarding cultural experiences. The Chinese teacher from the institute, Dr. Zhang Diandian performed traditional Chinese music with the national instrument of Erhu, and the students were also given the chance to learn to play the instrument alongside learning some basic Chinese words. Then the staff of the institute prepared many kiosks for experiencing Chinese culture and the students all dived into those interesting activities. There were papercut, calligraphy, opera-mask painting and ancient Chinese games. All students have learned a lot by engaging those activities. In the end, the students have developed a very positive understanding of China's role as a constructive great power in the world, and they've also realised the importance of cultivating a sound relationship between China and the UAE. Some students have also developed great curiosity about Chinese culture, and they've begun to consider systematic study for the future.
The CIUD was strongly impressed by our students' knowledge, purity and politeness and they were extremely keen on regularising the exchange between the two institutions. The CIUD has also invited our students to attend their future events such as the forthcoming martial art performance in Dubai.
The President of the University of Dubai, Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki also attended the event and experienced Chinese culture together with our students. Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki gave very positive comments to the University of Sharjah, regarding it as 'a leading institution in the country', and he has also expressed strong interests in deepening cooperation between the two universities. Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki also thought highly of the students from the UoS and issued them very warm welcome for future visits.
For the media report of the trip, please see: http://ciud.ae.chinesecio.com/zh-hans/node/436 (in Chinese)