Wuhan University, the University of Oxford China Centre and the University of Leeds jointly staged an international academic symposium on teaching Chinese culture and language in Oxford this week, an event that was part of Wuhan University's Overseas Academic Week.
The symposium, titled "Language Communication and Civilization Dialogue", attracted more than 40 experts and scholars from 20 international universities.
Delegates spoke about such themes as Chinese cultural studies, Chinese and Western cultural comparisons, cultural issues commonly found when teaching the Chinese language and theories and methods related to language and culture studies.
Wang Yongli, minister counselor for education at the Chinese embassy in London, opened the symposium by praising delegates for promoting overseas Chinese studies. He said he hopes Wuhan University will keep pushing exchanges with other countries.
Ed Nash from the International Strategy Office at the University of Oxford；professor Shen Zhuanghai, dean of the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wuhan University; and David Pattinson, the Chinese program manager at the University of Leeds, all made keynote speeches.
Karl-Heinz Pohl, a professor at the University of Trier in Germany, talked about the possibility of solving current world problems by following traditional Chinese political ideology and concepts such as“people foremost”and“the world is equally for all”.
Luo Yuting, a Wuhan University professor, addressed the importance of cultural communication and dissemination, saying he believes exchanges between cultures not only maintain global diversity but also provide a healthy cultural environment for the world’s economy，benefiting all countries.
Professor Paolo Santangelo from Sapienza University of Rome, and Joel Bellassen, head of the European Association of Chinese Teaching and a former inspector general at the Ministry of Education in France, both presented sessions on the cultural similarities and differences that permeate history, politics, ideology and education.
Scholars from the University of California, Davis, and from Ohio State University, Osaka University, the University of Bergen in Norway，Paris Diderot University，and the University of Oxford all shared research around the teaching of the Chinese language and culture.
This year，Wuhan University is staging its third Overseas Academic Week. The first, in 2012, was held at the University of Goettingen in Germany. The second was at the University of Chicago in 2014.
Zhang Yangfei in London contributed to this story