The pre-job training for the Confucius Institutes’ Chinese Directors in the latter half of 2023, which was organized by the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), was recently completed in Dalian. Forty-nine candidate directors from 35 Chinese partner institutions of the Confucius Institute (CI)—including people in charge of independent Confucius Classrooms—participated in the 12-day concentrated training.
(Participants at the completion ceremony)
For this training, the CIEF invited Ms. Liu Hong, the president of the Dalian University of Foreign Languages, and several senior experts and scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Communication University of China, the China Foreign Affairs University, and other academic institutions to conduct symposiums. Some of the outstanding former and incumbent Chinese and foreign CI directors were also invited to share their views. The training involved a wide range of fields, such as the organization and management of teaching, the planning of cultural activities, mental health, foreign affairs etiquette, and the development of the CI’s brand image. Focusing on the job responsibilities of Chinese directors, the training aimed to improve their core competencies to perform duties, thus deepening their understanding and perception of the CI’s cause and the job responsibilities of the directors.
At the completion ceremony, the directors’ representatives spoke highly of the training, expressing that the courses were timely assistance to the directors who are less experienced in working overseas. Moreover, the training helped people gain a deeper understanding of the great significance of implementing international Chinese language education and sharing stories about China. Now, people can better understand that the CIs’ Chinese directors are not only educators but also envoys for cultural communication and friendly exchanges. According to the participants, after the training, they were more aware of the opportunities, challenges, and goals for future development faced by the CI while dealing with complex international relations; additionally, they gained a deeper understanding of the business scopes within different departments of the CIEF and the occupational missions of the Chinese directors, which will help to enhance their business capabilities in multiple areas, such as the management of CIs and cross-cultural communication. Lastly, the training further strengthened their sense of pride and confidence in their work at the institutes.
(Performance at the completion ceremony)
As Mr. Zhao Lingshan, secretary-general of the CIEF, summarized and emphasized at the completion ceremony, the CI is a platform to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world and to enhance understanding among international communities, which they have been continuously doing over the past 19 years by implementing the Chinese language and different kinds of academic and cultural activities throughout the world. After shifting from a developmental path focusing on quantity to one focusing on high-quality branding, the CI has raised the standards for the abilities and qualities a Chinese director should possess. Every Chinese director should uphold a spirit of devotion, adhere to bottom-line thinking, have a sense of cooperation, and actively perform their duties to best meet the demands of Chinese-language learners in their cities. They should respond to the challenges arising from changes in the world, both in the current times and in history, with pragmatic actions. At the same time, as the overall managing party of the CI brand, the CIEF should always cooperate closely with Chinese partner universities to support and serve the Chinese directors’ work and assist them in continuously promoting the advancement and development of the CI cause, thus contributing more to the promotion of international cooperation in education, multicultural exchange, and mutual learning across the world.
(Release of certificates)
After the completion ceremony, the directors also witnessed the awards ceremony for the Pilot Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. With the Pilot Confucius Institute as their inspiration and motivation, all the directors expressed they would make unremitting efforts to develop the CIs into model institutions and contribute to the development of the CIs as a whole.
(Awards ceremony for the Pilot Confucius Institute)
The training was organized by the Dalian University of Foreign Languages, and the participating directors will work at the CIs in 37 countries and regions around the world.