The 6th Experience Exchange Conferenceon the Development of Confucius Institutes, sponsored by Sichuan University, was held in the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, from August 2nd to 3rd. SCU Vice President Yan Shijing led a delegation to attend the conference. More than 20 officials, experts and scholars from the Confucius Institutes in Belgium, the United States and South Korea, gathered at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) for the conference.
This year witnessed the sixth conference since Sichuan University initiated the Experience Exchange Conference on the Development of Confucius Institutes in 2012. The attendees call it "the Confucius Institute family gathering of Sichuan University." Vice President Yan pointed out that Confucius Institutes are facing many internal and external challenges in their development, and that it is a crucial moment to their sustainable development. Recalling the efforts of SCU in the work related to Confucius Institutes from 2017 to 2018, he shared SCU's experience in supporting the development of Confucius Institutes, and proposed the vision for sustainable development and in-depth cooperation. Representatives of five Confucius Institutes also shared their experience on the development mode and the promotion of mutual exchanges and cooperation. They believed that regular annual joint meetings of Confucius Institutes sponsored by SCU are of special significance to the unified management, coordination and sustainable development of Confucius Institutes.
The Sichuan University delegation also attended the "China's Public Diplomacy" Forum hosted by the Confucius Institute of the Free University of Brussels. Prof. Gustaag Geeraerts, former Director of the European Research Center of the Free University of Brussels, Prof. Li Yonghui, Dean of the School of International Relations of Beijing Foreign Studies University, and Mr. Ma Yansheng, former Counselor of the Education Department of the French Embassy, made keynote speeches at the forum. Prof. Wang Xiaolu of SCU participated in the discussion and summarized the significance of sustainable development of Confucian Institutes from a cross-cultural perspective.
Sichuan University has established five Confucius Institutes in association with five foreign universities, namely, Arizona State University, the University of Utah, the University of Washington, Woosong University of South Korea and the Free University of Brussels. Each Confucius Institute has its own characteristics, for example, the Confucius Institute of the Free University of Brussels focuses on high-end academic exchanges; the Confucius Institute of the University of Utah takes a lead in Chinese teaching and promotion in the region; the Confucius Institute in Washington State provides strong support for Chinese teaching in universities and communities; the Confucius Institute of Arizona State University combines Chinese learning with pre-university program; the Confucius Institute of Woosong University cooperates with its Chinese Department, opening a new horizon for the study and translation of ancient Chinese poetry.