Swire Chinese Language Foundation conference 2023

Posted on: March 27th 2023School News

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On Friday 24 March 2023, MGS hosted the Swire Chinese Language Student Conference. The event was for secondary school students (Years 9 to 13) who are studying Mandarin in the Swire Chinese Language Programme (SCLP) and who have a keen interest in China. The aim is to broaden the outlook of these pupils about China, to educate and to inspire. There were over 250 conference delegates from all over the UK who attended the event.

The SCLP is currently teaching 22,000 schoolchildren – with just over a quarter from more disadvantaged backgrounds – in 140 state schools grouped around 12 centres across the country. MGS lead the Manchester Centre and are currently working in partnership with a number of schools across the city. This is a privately funded initiative that aims to lay foundations for a stronger UK engagement with China in the next generation.

Robert Neal who co-ordinates school activities with the Manchester Swire Chinese Language centre said: “The school is keen to see Mandarin become a mainstream subject in the state sector’s curriculum and see this conference as a valuable part of our multi-pronged effort, enthusing students to continue with their studies through to university.  The school is supported in this by a group of wonderful and very entrepreneurial schools and teachers”.

The theme of the conference was “exploring UK China relations” and the speakers included: Professor Peter Gries (Professor of Chinese Politics at The University of Manchester), Professor Chris Berry (Professor of Film Studies at Kings College London), Cindy Yu (Assistant Editor at The Spectator and host of the bi-monthly podcast Chinese Whispers) and Timothy Cho (Analyst of East Asian affairs).

Students also had the opportunity to take part in interactive breakout sessions featuring calligraphy, dance, music, painting, tai chi and a talk on ‘the rise of the East’ from one of our Y11 students, Ethan, as well as optional outdoor games. There was a Chinese bubble tea stand, which proved to be very popular!

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible!

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