Last Friday, the 22nd, De Montfort Universityshowcased its new Confucius Institute (CI), with free activities, performances and refreshments that aimed to celebrate Chinese language and culture for staff, students and the wider community around campus

Activities on the day included teaching Mandarin – the Chinese national language – to local school pupils, traditional Dragon and Lion dances and musicians playing. Initial free Mandarin taster sessions will be held throughout December and visitors can sign up for these at the showcase on 22 November.

Partnering with Hanban, a non-profit organisation affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China, this CI will be the first of its kind to open with a new creative model.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said:

“It is an honour for DMU to be granted the new model Confucius Institute by the Hanban, one for the first time in the history of Confucius Institutes that embraces the creative industries as well as Chinese culture and language.

“It is our intention to make it a dynamic hub for staff, students and the local community which will enhance the employability of our graduates and enrich the deepening relationship between the UK and China.”

Voted as one of the UK’s most creative universities for the second year running by Which? University Guide 2013, DMU will connect DMU CI to its creative dimension and courses, enabling a fusion of Chinese and UK creativity on campus.There are plans to offer DMU students two week intensive Mandarin courses at the institute prior to Chinese placements with #DMUglobal – DMU’s recently launched initiative to provide more than half of all its students with an international experience as part of their studies.

James Gardner, Dean of International said:

“DMU’s Confucius Institute will play an important role in forwarding internationalisation on campus, not only celebrating Chinese culture and welcoming our Chinese students, but allowing everyone to experience a taste of Chinese life, enjoy creative activities and develop their cultural and linguistic knowledge.”

Strengthening its existing ties with China, DMU has also partnered with the University of Science and Technology in Beijing (USTB) and the Sunwah Group, a diversified conglomerate based in Hong Kong, to establish this CI.

Key staff from USTB will be visiting DMU in early 2014 for a grand opening ceremony of the CI to coincide with Chinese New Year festivities.

Professor Yi Peng, Chinese Director of DMU CI said:
“Situated at the heart of campus, DMU CI will be a place of cultural interest designed for all, enriching the diversity already celebrated at DMU and in Leicester.”

We encourage all students to come vist the CI in the upciming days. Since Friday 22 November, now everyone can also take part in free Chinese dance workshops, calligraphy and painting, or a Chinese tea ceremony. Inside DMU CI, there will be comfy seating areas available, and DMU is encouraging people to drop in at any time during the day from 9am till 5pm and talk with other visitors.