China to set up Confucius Institute at Lapland University
09 Oct 2017, 18:58 ( 09 Oct, 2017) | updated: 09 Oct 2017, 19:05 ( 09 Oct, 2017)
The Chinese authorities have taken an initiate to set up a Confucius Institute at the University of Lapland early next year with a view to enhance cultural exchanges between Lapland and China and also to promote better understanding about China.
“We have already started cooperation with the University of Lapland to establish a Confucius Institute here in Lapland. We hope to get it done by early 2018,” Director of Education at the Chinese Embassy to Finland Yuhang Gao told the Daily Finland in an exclusive interview recently.
The Confucius Institute has been set up in more than 140 countries and regions in the world. So far, more than two million students have enrolled in the institute.
The institute has been playing a significant role in exchanges and contacts between China and the international community.
According to Gao, the University of Lapland is special as the northern most university in the European Union which also has been developing a better relationship with Chinese universities.
“There are now eight exchange programmes between Chinese universities and the University of Lapland,” said the Chinese diplomat, who also lauded the basic education system in Finland.
“In Finnish primary schools, there are so many interesting courses, such as P.E., art, music, cooking, swimming, and even religion. Courses like P.E., painting, music, and nature are also there in a typical primary school in China, but not in the secondary schooling system,” said Gao, adding that the Finnish students on an average have more study motivation than the Chinese students, because, in China, teachers teach what the students need to study for exams.
He, however, said the Finnish education system is quite different to the Chinese one, especially in basic education. “The basic education curriculum in China is designed for university entrance exams. The case is the opposite in Finland.”
Gao said Finnish students have an easy study life compared to those in many other countries in the world.
“This is the second time I have come to Rovaniemi. It is a very attractive city with fresh air, clean water, and beautiful nature,” Gao told the Daily Finland.
However, he said, these are not enough for keeping tourists for long here and emphasised the necessity for more outside activities and fascinating programmes for attracting tourists.
In his opinion, “Rovaniemi needs a more open policy to attract Chinese tourists, Chinese students, and Chinese investments.”