Dear professors, students, alumni and friends,
As the new year of 2016 begins, we, on behalf of BFSU, would like to extend our seasonal greetings and best wishes to all BFSU faculty and staff, students, retirees, alumni as well as leaders of all levels, members of our university council, friends from all sectors, and families of our faculty, staff and students!
The year 2015 has witnessed remarkable progress by BFSU in building ourselves into a world-class language university with our unique academic excellence.
Improving disciplinary development and educational quality. To support China’s Belt and Road Initiatives, BFSU has given priority to less commonly used languages and introduced new language programs including Tamil, Turkman, Català, Yoruba, Mongolian and Armenian, bringing the total number of languages taught in BFSU to 67. We have also adopted an innovative approach to the cultivation of versatile professionals through a pilot reform program for Greek, promotion of general education reform, and joint pilot programs for Korean (international business), French (international relations) and diplomacy (French and Francophone country studies). At the same time, reform was also introduced for our graduate programs. We have started 4 doctoral programs in international law & regional governance, international business & regional governance, international relations & regional studies, and international communications. In addition, we have made further efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship through the establishment of an innovation and entrepreneurship center to combine students’ future career development with our enrollment and teaching activities.
Promoting teachers’ development and academic research abilities. A number of new staff recognition mechanisms have been introduced, such as the Evergreen Scholar program and the Endowed Chair Professor program. A teacher development program targeting towards middle-aged and young teachers has been implemented. We have set up a number of new research institutions, including the Academy of Language Sciences, School of Education, South China Institute，Silk Road Research Institute, China Language Assessment, Italian Studies Center，German Studies Center, and Kazakhstan Center. We have renamed two institutions, namely the School of Arabic Studies and the International Institute of Chinese Studies. We have also launched Xu Guozhang Prize for Foreign Language Research, and successfully convened an academic forum to commemorate the contribution by Mr. Xu Guozhang to foreign language education and to stimulate potentials in foreign language studies. At the same time, we have continued our efforts in promoting further development of the Joint Innovative Center for Outbound of Chinese Culture, and designing medium- and long-term development plans for country and regional studies centers for Central and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. We have undertaken over 80 national and provincial/ministerial level research projects, which produced important publications such as Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture, Blue Book of the United Kingdom: Annual Report on Development of the United Kingdom (2014-2015)，and Research on Spanish Teaching in Chinese Universities.
Enhancing international exchange and cooperation. We have signed cooperation and exchange agreements with well known institutions such as the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) and Moscow State Linguistic University. We were visited by national leaders and university presidents such as the Slovenian Prime Minister, the Iranian Speaker of Parliament, Ethiopian Speaker of Parliament, Finnish Speaker of Parliament, Kazakhstani First Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, and the Rector of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). We have witnessed a growing number of international students studing at BFSU. The Confucius Institute (CI) at Oxford Brookes University was officially launched as the first CI focusing on publishing, bringing the total number of BFSU-as-Chinese- partner CIs to 22 globally. We have also built the EU-China Friendship Garden, organized the Foreign Studies University Presidents’ Forum, and signed a proposal for the establishment of a “Global Consortium for Foreign Studies Universities”, in an effort to promote global mutual trust, communication and cultural exchanges. We have sucessfully completed high-level training programs such as the ASEAN Plus Three Training Program on Understanding China, a training program for high-level administrators of Sri Lanka, and a training course for China-Africa Legal Professional Exchange Project.
In addition, BFSU has also witnessed continued upgrading of its social service capacities for broader cooperation with local communities and businesses. We have set up a number of education development funds, and launched our university history museum as well as alumni associations in North America and Hong Kong.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The year 2016 is a year for us to make additional progress on top of our past achievements. We shall continue to make more efforts to build ourselves into a world-class university, promote disciplinary development, promote our unique education concepts, pursue academic excellence, and push forward reform and innovation. In 2016, as the beginning of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, we shall work harder to improve BFSU’s unique model of education, improve BFSU visibility, and contribute more to China’s education development.
I wish you and your family a happy new year.
Chairman of the University Council
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