On the 6th October, Mr. PAN Xinchun, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, attended the launch ceremony of Confucius Hub at Stirling High School, which was jointly held by Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools and the High School, a testament of the rapid development of Confucius Hubs in Scotland witnessed by all walks of life once again. Mr. Mike Robbins, Provost of Stirling, Mr. John Somers, First Secretary of Scottish Affairs at UK Embassy in Beijing, Ms. Fhiona Fisher, Director of Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools and Ms. Patricia Scullion, Headteacher of Stirling High School were presented the function along with nearly one hundred students.
Consul General Pan warmly congratulated the establishment of Confucius Hub at Stirling High School, appreciated the enthusiasm of local students for Mandarin and Chinese culture, and expressed gratitude to the great importance attached by the Scottish Government and Stirling Council on promoting Mandarin education, and their consistent efforts. Mr. Pan said that he has witnessed the birth of one Confucius Institute and two Confucius Hubs since assuming his post last year, and these achievements reflect the fast and healthy development of Mandarin education in Scotland, the huge interest of learning Chinese language and culture by the Scottish people, especially youngsters, as well as the strong relations between China and Scotland. Given the Chinese population of 1.3 billion, Scottish students will be able to communicate with almost half the world's population if they speak both Mandarin and English, which will have a big significance to the future development of the Scottish young generation. Consul General Pan encourages students to seize the opportunity to learn Mandarin, and become successors of the cause of strengthening friendship between China and Scotland.
On behalf of the Scottish Government, Mr. Somers said the Government attaches great importance to Mandarin education as always. During the First Minister’s very first visit to China in this July, Ms. Nicola Sturgeon went to see Scottish students learning Mandarin as exchange in China. She named the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” in Mandarin by these students the most touching moment in her visit. Representing respective bodies, Provost Robbins, Director Fisher and Headteacher Scullion extended their sincere thanks to the Consulate General for its strong support to the development of Confucius Hubs, and expressed their willingness to continue contributing to the promotion of Mandarin education in Scotland.
During the ceremony, six students from Stirling High School who went to China for exchange shared their memorable learning and life experience in China via video and narration, which was well received. Wonderful performances were also presented by a Chinese fashion designer, a tea art specialist, a singer, a student band of Stirling High School and local pupils as well.
Afterwards, Consul General Pan paid a visit to the University of Stirling with the company of Provost Robbins. Greeted and accompanied by Prof. Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University, Ms. Stephanie Niven, Head of International Affairs and Assistant Director of Development and External Affairs, Mr. Pan enjoyed the Chinese art exhibition of “Reflections of the East” displaying in the University, and acquired detailed knowledge of Chinese students in the campus. Mr. Pan thanked the Principal for his kind invitation and thoughtful arrangements, and pledged to further strengthen ties and cooperation between the Consulate General and the University.