A new Institute designed to promote business, communication and cultural links between Scotland and China has been officially opened at Heriot-Watt University by Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.
The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication
The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication was approved by the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Education (HANBAN) in November 2013. It builds on Heriot-Watt’s long-term interest in China, its international strategy and its mission and reputation as one of the UK's leading institutions in linking business and academia. Heriot-Watt’s Confucius Institute also partners the University with China’s Tianjin University for Finance and Economics.
Heriot-Watt leads the UK in interpreting and translating and is home to interpreting labs among the best in Europe. The New Confucius Institute will build on the University’s international strategy to help forge new partnerships, attract more well qualified students to study in Scotland and help foster joint research and academic collaborations. The development of the Institute also aligns with the Scottish Government’s strategy to increase trade opportunities for Scottish business in China, to encourage Chinese investment in Scottish industry and infrastructure and to deepen Scottish educational links with China.
The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication was officially opened by Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, and Minister Councillor for Education Mr Shen Yang, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, at a ceremony also to be attended by Mr Pan Xinchun, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Edinburgh, and Professor Li Weian, President of Tianjin University for Finance and Economics.
Cabinet Secretary for Education Michael Russell said, “This new Confucius Centre will be a fantastic addition to Heriot-Watt University and to Scotland. Mandarin is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages and it’s important that people in Scotland get the opportunity to learn about China, its language and its growing role in the modern world.
“Through promoting Chinese language and culture for educational and business purposes, the Institute will complement the Scottish Government’s China Strategy and our aim to increase trade and educational collaborations with China through greater mutual understanding between our respective cultures.”
Internationalisation and global collaboration
Heriot-Watt University Principal Professor Steve Chapman said, “It is our hope that the Confucius Institute here at Heriot-Watt University will ultimately promote greater shared understanding between our two countries and complement the aims and ambitions of the Scottish Government to increase our knowledge of China.
“The opening of the Institute underlines the importance that this University places on internationalisation and global collaboration. A defining characteristic of Heriot-Watt is our international presence. Our work with the Confucius Institute will see this success built upon, as we develop and encourage mobility between Chinese and local students ensuring exposure to business language and culture. “
The ceremony included the signing of the agreement by Professor Li Weian and Professor Steve Chapman and the unveiling of a plaque by Mike Russell and Mr Shen Yang. It was followed by a recital by musicians from the University and by a group of Chinese musicians from Tianjin University, who performed traditional Chinese music using traditional instruments.