On March 20th, the tenth council meeting of the Confucius Institute at Burapha University (“Confucius Institute”) was held in Thailand. Vice President Cao Jianming of Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) accompanied by officials responsible for related matters from WMU’s 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of International Studies, Burapha University’s President Somnuk Theerakulpisut, Vice President Chaiwit Thanapaisal and Vice President Sunantha Osiri attended the meeting.
“2018-2022 Development Plan for the Confucius Institute at Burapha University” (the “Plan”) was reviewed at the meeting. According to the Plan, the Confucius Institute as the only one of its kind in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor will position itself as a cultural center through supporting the construction of “Belt and Road” Initiative and Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor, continuously promoting Chinese language teaching, and vigorously disseminating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) culture and China’s intangible cultural heritage for the next five years. By exploiting platforms such as “Excellent TCM Physician Training Base”, “TCM Healthcare Tour in China”, “Thai TCM Healthcare Tour”, “TCM Culture Classroom”, the Confucius Institute vows to do a good job in activities promoting TCM cultural exchange. Furthermore, according to the needs of Burapha University (BU), the Confucius Institute will push to add TCM courses into BU’s curriculum system. With plans to build programs including Thailand’s first “Celadon Culture School”, “Chinese Musical Cultural Classroom” and Chanthaburi Province’s “Thai-Chinese Cultural Exchange Center” , the Confucius Institute is going to enlarge the scope of cultural exchanges to cover more types of intangible cultural heritage by developing quality 1-or 2-day tour routes with 3-4 stops to experience Chinese culture in eastern Thailand for students from all over Thailand. The Plan has also laid out the overall design centering on the health care industry, “Belt and Road” Initiative and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) construction by integrating WMU’s advantages brought by its unique medical specialties.
The Confucius Institute’s development over the past five years was reviewed during the meeting. Under the joint efforts of partner universities from China and Thailand, the Confucius Institute has achieved excellent results in various areas: the number of Chinese language teachers increased from 6 to 22. The annual number of registered students increased from 2016 to 16,033. The number of participants in the annual Chinese proficiency test increased from 984 to 2,500. Places of teaching expanded from 3 provinces to 2 municipalities and 5 provinces with the number increasing from 3 to 18 (including 6 university teaching sites, 2 subsidiary classrooms, 10 teaching sites in primary and secondary schools). Thailand’s first occupational training base for TCM practitioners accredited by Thai Ministry of Health and the Thai Chinese Medical Doctors Association has been in successful operation at the Confucius Institute.
In addition, the meeting reviewed and approved the changes in the list of council members from the Thai side. Participating council members studied the main contents of the “Agreement between Confucius Institute Headquarters and Burapha University on the Continuation of Cooperation in the Construction of the Confucius Institute at Burapha University” and discussed in-depth about the reform of the financial system of the Confucius Institute.
WMU president Lu Fan sent a video clip to congratulate the conference on its successful convening, hoping the Confucius Institute will continue to play the role of a bridge to better serve the development strategies and cultural exchanges between China and Thailand.