Confucius Institute shows great team spirit in response to COVID-19

The institute has managed a smooth transition online and is working to support students and colleagues.

‘The fire burns with great intensity if everyone throws in a stick!’ 

This Chinese proverb reflects the recent team spirit shown by Manchester Confucius Institute’s teaching, support and leadership team.

Confucius Institute Zoom Meeting

As of Monday 16 March 2020, The University of Manchester suspended all face-to-face teaching, which meant the institute had to transfer all of its teaching online. The dedicated teaching team under the leadership of Chinese Director Dr Hui Zhang managed a fast and smooth transition to teach all courses online via Zoom.

All students showed gratitude and understanding and the feedback at the end of the 10-week courses was excellent, complimenting continuous adaptation and fun games that made it a successful learning experience.

Five teachers that completed their work with us returned to China at the end of March, facing long waits in transit and 14-day isolation on arrival before being reunited with their families. Shanghai Education TV recently reported about a sweet gesture of solidarity at a Shanghai isolation hotel. The hotel staff were thanked with a basket of fruit together with the note "Thanks for all your efforts of looking after us." It was later discovered that this guest was one of our returning teachers.

A note with Chinese characters and English reading 'Help Yourself!'

The acts of solidarity and kindness did not stop there. The Institute's partner, Beijing Normal University, was keen to offer support to Chinese students studying in Manchester and set up a helpline to listen to and share their own experiences during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, with the support of The University of Manchester and the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, we are in process of setting up a dedicated support lecture for Chinese students that were unable to travel back to their country.

All in all, since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the unprecedented changes it brought to everybody’s lives, the Confucius Institute team has pulled together each and every resource of support as well as carried on their teaching.

The next block of language courses will start w/c 20 April and everyone is looking forward to continuing their virtual lessons. Apart from focusing on an increased social media engagement, the team is also busy thinking of ways to continue cultural activities that the institute normally offers, such as Tai Chi, Chinese cooking classes and singing.


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