On 21st April, the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University (CIOBU) held the annual board meeting in Oxford, UK. Directors from Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP) and Oxford Brookes University (OBU), who were Ms. Wang Fang, Chair of FLTRP Group and President of FLTRP, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of OBU, Professor Joe Tah, Pro Vice-Chancellor of OBU and Mr. Leslie Henderson, Head of TDE (Technology, Design and Environment) Finance of OBU all attended the board meeting. Attendees also included Mr. Angus Phillips, Director of CIOBU, Ms. Chen Xi, Co-director of CIOBU and Ms. Spring Zhang, Deputy Director of CIOBU. Ms. Zhang Siying, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of FLTRP and Mr. Shao Lei, Director of International Cooperation Division of FLTRP joined the meeting through the cyber. The board meeting was presided over by Professor Alistair Fitt.
Firstly, Angus Phillips reported to the board on the 2022 activities of CIOBU and then Leslie Henderson reported on the annual financial situation. The board of directors approved the “2022 CIOBU Annual Report” and the “2023 CIOBU Budget”. Last year, CIOBU adopted a mixed online and offline model for teaching and organizing activities, with the number of Chinese proficiency test registrants as well as the number of cultural activity participants all significantly increased. With the introduction of new Chinese courses, the number of students for paid Chinese course had increased by 5% compared to the previous year and the number of registrants for Chinese proficiency tests increased by 80%. A total of 108 cultural events were held throughout the year, with over 6,600 participants, an increase of 16% over the previous year.
Ms. Wang Fang fully acknowledged the achievements of the CIOBU during the past year and introduced the latest development of FLTRP. Ms.Wang Fang expressed that FLTRP will continue to support the development of the CIOBU, highlighting the unique resource advantages of the CIOBU platform, making it an important bridge for communication between publishing, education as well as cultural exchange between China and the UK.
Professor Alistair Fitt highly praised FLTRP's digitalization and internationalization development strategies and expressed gratitude for FLTRP's firm support for the development of CIOBU. He also hoped that the two parties will continue to deepen cooperation and make this badge of Sino-British exchange and cooperation shine even brighter.
Before the board meeting, Ms. Wang Fang exchanged in-depth views with the directors and management team of CIOBU and visited the Chinese language teachers and staff from both sides.
The CIOBU was jointly established by FLTRP and OBU in September 2015 and started operation in April 2016. CIOBU is the first Confucius Institute in the world co-established by a university and a publishing company. Publishing is the specialist focus of CIOBU, making CIOBU a unique presence among all the Confucius Institutes around the globe.