On July 1, NSU celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Class and “Confucius Institute” partnership project. The event was attended by teachers, students, and project staff from various educational institutions, as well as a delegation from Xinjiang University lead by Mr. Jiang Haijun, Vice-Rector for International Relations.
NSU and the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Beijing) signed the agreement to establish the Confucius Class in March 2008, and in July 2009 the official opening ceremony was held. In 2011, the Confucius Class received “advanced” level status. In 2018, the Chinese and Russians recognized the project’s achievements by awarding the NSU Confucius Class the title of “Institute” and new cooperative agreements were signed.
During the ceremonial event, Haijun and Svetlana Sablina, NSU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, opened a banner of honor from Confucius Institute Headquarters. Zhao Gocheng, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Geng Liping, General Consul of the PRC in Yekaterinburg, Xu Xianyi, Rector of Xinjiang University, and Mikhail Fedoruk, NSU Rector, offered their congratulations. Sergey Sannikov, Head of the International Relations Department for Novosibirsk Oblast, spoke about the significance NSU’s participation in the Project. The Novosibirsk Ministry of Education sent a letter of thanks to the NSU Rector for the University’s work on the “Confucius Institute”.
According to Yulia Azarenko, Director of the NSU “Confucius Institute ”,
What makes the NSU Institute special among Confucius institutions, is that cooperation is not a closed triangle consisting of “Confucius Institute Headquarters - NSU - Xinjiang University”. Currently, our project includes 12 educational institutions, including universities and schools, and its geography extends beyond the borders of Novosibirsk.
Azarenko went on to describe the Institute’s rich connections internationally. For example, their Chinese university summer camps are not only in Urumqi, but in Tianjin, Dalian. Soon NSU students will be able to participate in this program at the Peking University of Foreign Languages. Last September, lecturers from Xi'an Jiaotong University spoke at NSU, and in October, the Confucius Institute organized an instrumental concert by Suzhou University at the Academy House of Culture.
Confucius Institute students include not only university students, but schoolchildren, researchers, and others. Some come to learn Chinese using an integrated approach with phonetics and conversation, or to prepare for an international exam, while others take calligraphy courses or Chinese national painting. A team of teachers work to prepare talented students for the “Chinese is a Bridge”competition. Several times a year, Chinese language teachers from all universities and schools in the city, as well as their colleagues from Barnaul, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ulan-Ude, and Chelyabinsk, come to NSU to listen to lectures by experts and specialists from well-known Chinese-speaking centers and to share experiences.
This year is the seventieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the PRC and Russia. What we do makes a big contribution to the friendship between our nations. With the support of management from our two universities, the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and PRC diplomatic missions, we will continue our work because of its importance in the favorable development of relations between China and Russia.
Anniversary festivities included lion dances and a dragon procession in the University courtyard, art tour concerts in Akademgorodok for Chinese university students, Chinese traditional arts exhibitions in the House of Scientists, a Chinese tea ceremony at the Berdsk History and Art Museum, a Chinese travel photography exhibition, hieroglyphic writing and dumplings in the InterArbat tents, lectures by famous Chinese scholars and specialists in Chinese traditional medicine, Tai Chi and Wushu demonstrations, and regional contests to translate Chinese movies. This exposure to Chinese culture is thanks to the NSU "Confucius Institute”.
NSU was the first among Russian Confucius Institutes to introduce teaching Chinese to schoolchildren so it’s logical that since 2016 our Institute has organized the regional stage of the All-Russian competition for Chinese language for schoolchildren. We believe that to respond to the high demand for specialists in IT, the oil and gas industry, management, and political and economic relations with the countries in the Far East and others, it is very important to establish the conditions for implementation of the government plan to introduce Chinese language teaching in schools. Then, at the university level, graduates who studied Chinese can specialize in priority fields with a strong language background and expand their existing base with linguistic knowledge in their chosen professional sphere.
Representatives from Novosibirsk partner institutions, the NSU International Department and other University colleagues came to congratulate the Confucius Class. The largest delegation came from the Siberian Institute of Management presenting a collage of photos from joint events. A gift was also presented by the Institute students who are learning Chinese in the form of a song at the end of the event. The guests received photo albums with pictures of the 10 year history of the NSU “Confucius Institute” Project and its members. The staff was responsible for preparing the publication, as well as the calendar layout with important events for the 2019 jubilee year.
The day also included a meeting of the “Confucius Institute” coordinating council. This was followed by meetings with the heads of the State Institute of Information Technologies, and the IT and Economics Departments. After lunch, the Chinese leaders arrived at the celebration. They sat in the front row and videotaped the event. This video will demonstrate that the NSU Confucius Institute is a true channel for cultural exchange between Russia and China. One example of this is the opening musical number was not accompanied by hulusi, guzheng or dizi, but by an accordion.