UWTSD celebrates Chinese New Year in Swansea


This Thursday, February 9th, a gala concert will be held at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall to celebrate Chinese New Year and to mark the Year of the Rooster.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has a long-standing relationship with a number of institutions in China and is proud to sponsor the event that will showcase traditional Chinese music, dance and martial arts.  Children who attend Swansea’s Chinese School – a school established by UWTSD’s Confucius Institute - will also be performing.

Swansea stalwarts, Kevin Johns and Mal Pope, both of whom are honorary fellows of UWTSD, will host the black tie dinner which will raise money for children and vulnerable elderly members of Swansea’s Chinese Community.

As well as having international links with a number of partner institutions in China, UWTSD is also home to a Confucius Institute – an institute that has worked with the Chinese community in Swansea to establish a Chinese School in the city.

UWTSD’s Confucius Institute was launched in October 2007 with a mission to build bridges between Wales and China - providing a gateway to China, its education, its language and its culture.

The Confucius Institute’s aim is to enrich people’s lives by providing opportunities people of all ages to experience Chinese Culture and to learn Mandarin. The Institute actively engages with local communities as well as with academics, teachers, artists, businesses and other interested individuals.

The School, established by the Confucius Institute on the University’s Townhill campus, welcomed its first pupils in September. The take-up for places was so successful that the Confucius Institute is now offering both morning and afternoon sessions every Sunday.  

The initiative has also 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 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 Levels 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.”

Last autumn, as part of its international strategy, UWTSD also reaffirmed its 10 year relationship with Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China by establishing an international college initiative - the UWTSD Wuhan Ligong College

The College has been established in Swansea and is a major platform for WUT to send students from China to study in Wales.  Located at the University’s Mount Pleasant campus, it’s developing a range of undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities. 

The establishment of the UWTSD Wuhan Ligong College builds upon the University’s existing collaborative arrangement with WUT which includes the validation of a range of programmes within Art and Design and Engineering delivered at its campus in Hubei province in eastern China, as well as providing opportunities for Chinese students to complete their degree studies at the University’s campuses in Swansea. The partnership also includes many academic and cultural reciprocal visits by staff and students of both institutions.

The relationship with Wuhan was also further strengthened at the end of last year with UWTSD’s Dean of Faculty of Business and Management, Roger Maidment, visiting the city as part of a delegation from Swansea’s academic and business communities, exploring collaboration opportunities and developing economic connections.

This visit was an opportunity to build on the strong links already in place with Wuhan and Nantong, providing opportunities for UWTSD to help strengthen Swansea’s role as a key driver of the Swansea Bay City Region economy in education projects.

Swansea has long history of connections with Wuhan through the Welsh missionary, Griffith John, who founded the Wuhan Union Hospital over 150 years ago. The city also has close links with Nantong and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their agreement.

From this solid base of Chinese partner cities, and with UWTSD’s partners in China, including Beijing Union and Renmin universities, the connections with China are now beginning to bear fruit for the local economy.  UWTSD and the Confucius Institute are proud to be part of Swansea’s team of pioneers who are forging ever closer links with China.

For more information on the Confucius Institute at UWTSD, please visit www.uwtsd.ac.uk/confucius-institute


Note to Editor

  1. The Confucius Institute is part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and is located across three campuses: Lampeter, Carmarthen and Swansea. Funded by Hanban, the Chinese Language Council International.
  2. Since its opening in October 2007 the mission of the Confucius Institute at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has been to build bridges between Wales and China, providing a gateway to China, its education, its language and its culture. Our aim is to enrich people’s lives by providing opportunities for young and old to experience Chinese Culture and learn Mandarin. In doing so, active involvement of the local community is especially important to our work, as is the constant dialogue with academics, teachers, artists, businesses and individuals interested in our programmes. The Confucius Institute is not only an inter-cultural but also an inter-generational and inter-professional organisation.
  3. The CI’s Chinese partner is Beijing Union University.  Located at 9 campuses across Beijing, BUU offers scholarships to UWTSD students wishing to study in China.
  4. The Confucius Institute has five Confucius Classrooms located in schools in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and South Powys.


Further Information

  1. For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476