UWTSD Celebrates Official Opening of New Chinese Community School in Swansea


UWTSD was proud to mark the official opening of the University's new Chinese Community School during a ceremony at its Townhill campus on Sunday, November 20. 

Speakers at the event included Krystyna Krajewska, Confucius Institute Deputy Director; Dr Thomas Jansen, Confucius Institute UK Director, Mrs Shirley Au-Yeung, Chinese Co-op Centre Manager and Chris Foxall, Chairman of the Confucius Institute Chinese School of Board of Governors.

There were performances by Chris Foxall and his two young daughters, who sang The Chinese National and Welsh National Anthems and Mal Pope, who sang 'This is Love' based on the story of Griffith John, who left Swansea 150 years ago to become a missionary in China. Children from the new community school also performed on stage at the Townhill Theatre. Chen Ching-Yi played the liuqin. 

Mrs Quan Jin, Confucius Institute Chinese Director awarded certificates to students during the ceremony, which culminated with Swansea Lord Mayor, Councillor David Hopkins and guests watching The Venerable Randolph Thomas, Chairman of the Council of UWTSD, and Dr Thomas Jansen, Confucius Institute UK Director, unveiling the plaque.

 The School, which welcomed its first pupils on 4th September, is based at the University’s Townhill Campus. The take-up for places has been so successful that the Confucius Institute in now offering both morning and afternoon sessions every Sunday.  The initiative has had the full support of the Chinese Community Co-op Centre, the charitable body that looks after the interests of Swansea’s Chinese ethnic communities.

Confucius Institute Executive Director, Krystyna Krajewska said “Swansea has a thriving Chinese community with a growing number of Chinese school age children. The new school aims to enable these youngsters to keep in touch with their Chinese roots and heritage, and to provide them with the excellent Chinese language skills they will need in the increasingly globalised world of work.  I’m delighted that we have 78 children from Swansea’s Chinese community aged between 4 – 13 years who spend two hours every Sunday at the School studying Chinese language and culture.  The pupils are organised by age in three different classes ranging from absolute beginners to students who are fluent in spoken Chinese and wish to prepare for their Mandarin GCSE exam”.

With nearly ten years’ experience of providing Chinese language and culture courses and workshops in Welsh schools, universities and the community, the Confucius Institute is offering a range of courses at the new school from Mandarin GCSE and A for older pupils, to the Chinese Proficiency test provided by Hanban, the Chinese Government’s office for teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

Krystyna Krajewska added: “We believe the Chinese School in Swansea is unique. This is the first time that a Confucius Institute has opened and managed a school for their local Chinese community. It offers an example of best practice of collaboration between the Chinese community and the university sector.” Parents commented on the opening of the school by saying: “Thank you for bring Chinese school to Swansea. Wishing you prosperity for many years to come!”

Mrs Wai Fong Lee MBE, Chairperson of the Swansea Chinese Community Co-op Centre commented: “Our organisation has been supporting the local Chinese community for over 20 years. We are very delighted to be collaborating with the Confucius Institute to open a new Chinese School that promises to deliver a high standard of education.”