Victoria University of Wellington Day held at XMU
From March 29-30, a two-day celebration of the Victoria University of Wellington Day was successfully held at XMU. The leaders of the visiting delegation from Victoria University included Marc Aurel Schnabel, deputy vice chancellor and Dean of the School of Architecture and Design, John Macalister, deputy vice chancellor and dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, McRae Blair, assistant vice chancellor, and Rebecca Needham, director of the Confucius Institute at Wellington University of Victoria.
On the afternoon of March 29, XMU Vice President Wu Daguang met with the delegation at the conference room of the Main Building and extended a warm welcome to the visitors. Then he gave a general introduction of Xiamen University and its achievements in the globalization of education. Wu pointed out that Xiamen University has a long history of increasingly close partnership with Victoria University and that the mushrooming college-level cooperations shall provide new highlights and opportunities for the development of friendship between the two universities. Professor Marc Aurel Schnabel gave thanks to Xiamen University for the warm reception and said that the cooperation between the two universities has showed strong momentum and betokened a beautiful future for both sides. Victoria University would be glad to seek for further cooperation with Xiamen University in more new areas and forms. Next, the two sides conducted in-depth exchanges and discussions on topics such as innovative education, Chinese cultural experiencing, and joint training programs of architectural majors.
The attendees at the meeting on the side of XMU also included Assistant President Tan Shaobin, and representatives from the Confucius Institute office, School of Architecture, College of Humanities, College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Art College, International Relations Institute, and the International Office.
On the morning of March 30, Victoria University of Wellington Day was formally opened at the Science and Arts Center in XMU, together with the Photo Exhibition of Victoria University Victoria Day.
Vice President of XMU Zhan Xinli addressed the opening ceremony. She pointed out that Xiamen and Wellington, both as beautiful harbor cities, became sister cities in 1987. Against this backdrop, Xiamen University and Victoria University signed a school-level cooperation agreement in 2006 and a letter of intent for the co-establishment of the Confucius Institute in 2009, which heralded long-term close partnership in scientific research, academics, teacher-student exchanges, and the co-establishment of Confucius Institute. In 2010, the jointly established Confucius Institute was inaugurated in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, pushing the two sides’ cooperation to a new height. In September 2017, Xiamen University was successfully inducted into the honor roll of A-level universities in terms of its “double first-rate” construction. Xiamen University shall take the opportunity of celebrating Victoria University Victoria Day to further deepen cooperation with Victoria University of Wellington in multiple fields and go farther in the course of the globalization of education.
On behalf of Victoria University, Prof. Marc Aurel Schnabel addressed the ceremony by introducing Victoria University of Wellington from aspects of school profile, academic advantages, scientific research, and the Confucius Institute and saying that Victoria University has been working hard to strengthen its friendly ties with China in the hopes of promoting cultural exchanges and cooperation between New Zealand and China through close partnership with Xiamen University.
After the opening ceremony, the two sides attended the photo exhibition, which was presented in five sections, i.e., “Charming Wellington”, “Walking into Victoria University of Wellington”, “Xiamen - Wellington Sister City Relationship”, “Partnership between Xiamen University and Victoria University” and the “Construction of the Confucius Institute”. The exhibition fully displayed the fruitful outcomes of cooperation and exchanges between the two universities.
Present at the photo exhibition included John Macalister, McRae Blair, Rebecca Needham, Zhang Jianlin, assistant president of Xiamen University, leaders of related departments, and representatives of faculty and students from XMU.
Following that, the Victoria University delegation went on a visit to Xiang'an campus of XMU and had an in-depth exchange of views on the affairs of the co-established Confucius Institute with the Southern Base of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Office of Confucius Institute Affairs). In the afternoon, Prof. Marc Aurel Schnabel and Prof. John Macalister each gave a lecture entitled "Integration of Architectural Design" and “English in New Zealand and New Zealand English” respectively to the teachers and students from the College of Architecture and Civil Engineering and the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures.
Victoria University of Wellington, which was founded in 1897, is a large comprehensive public national university in New Zealand and one of the country’s eight five-star universities. In 2006, Xiamen University signed a university-level partnership agreement with Victoria University of Wellington. Up to now, XMU has sent a total of 14 exchange students to and received 5 students from Victoria University. The Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington currently has 58 Chinese Teaching Assistants (17 from XMU) and 10 Confucius Classrooms. Throughout the year of 2017, the number of students who have studied at the Confucius Institute reached 20,247, and as many as 269 cultural events were held, having attracted approximately 20,000 participants. In December 2015, the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington was awarded the title “Outstanding Confucius Institute” by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban).
Edited by Luo Shuang