Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones; UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, Eudene Barriteau and China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke, surrounded by other officials of UWI and China at the official opening of the Confucius Institute yesterday. (GP)

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has been lauded for the establishment of a Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus.

This came yesterday as Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones; and China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke, addressed the official opening of new offices for the Confucius Institute.

Referring to the institute as “a magnificent structure”, Mr. Jones commended the efforts of the Government and People of both the Republic of China and Barbados for bringing it to fruition.

“We have been able to build many bridges; we have been able to benefit from each other’s history, culture and language….We have been able to see the relationship grow over time…over the last few years….We have been able to see so many things that were in the seeding of this relationship now blossoming,” he said of the diplomatic relationship established 40 years ago.

The Education Minister thanked the People’s Republic of China for assistance in the area of construction and its several scholarships awarded to Barbadians, over time. He added that a 2004 Memorandum of Understanding would continue to be worked on to assist Barbadian teachers in teaching English in China.

Mr. Jones singled out Building Contractor Stephen Ifill of Steve’s Building Works and architect Dr. Albert Best of Archis Design Group for praise for their work and understanding of Chinese architecture.

China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke, lauded the Government of Barbados “for always championing the Confucius Institute at UWI Cave Hill”.

Stating that Confucius Institutes were also on the campuses at Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, she lauded Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, and Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cave Hill, Professor Eudene Barriteau, for their “foresight and commitment to the development of Confucius Institute in the region and the enhancement of the exchanges between UWI and Chinese counterparts”.

The Cave Hill Campus also was recognised for hosting the first Joint Conference on Confucius Institute and the Ambassador said: “I am very pleased to record that since the first Confucius Institute was officially set up at UWI, Mona Campus in 2009, five more Confucius Institutes and one Confucius class took their roots in English-speaking Caribbean countries.”

Ambassador Wang added that the institute, established in April 2015, had in just two years organised various Chinese courses and cultural events both on and off the campus, teaching and training more than 2,000 persons.

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