The third annual Schools and Universities Day took place last Friday and was attended by 24 universities from all over the UK and over 170 students from English schools. There were discussions and workshops in the morning followed by a university fair in the afternoon, which gave the school students opportunities to talk directly with university representatives about how to study Chinese at university level.
Morning Discussions and Workshops
Despite the many national rail delays on Friday, the morning sessions started promptly with school and university representatives forming discussions led by our director, Katharine Carruthers and Professor Jane Duckett of the British Association for Chinese Studies. The discussions touched on important topics such as Chinese assessments in schools, regional interactions and bridging the gaps, as well as future planning for high-level Mandarin Excellence Programme students.
The school students meanwhile were treated to a panel discussion, which was made up of university students and recent university graduates. Members of the panel and their biographies can be found in the Schools and Universities Day brochure on page 3. Two of the panellists (Ryan Galle from SOAS and Aileen Kearney from Oxford) were former IOE CI Confucius Classrooms students (from Lambeth Academy and Upton Hall respectively) which was very inspiring for the pupils attending. After the panel discussion, pupils were split into groups and participated in interactive workshops led by the panellists, details of which can be found in the brochure.
The University Fair took place after lunch, giving students more than two hours to speak face-to-face with the 24 universities present about their Mandarin courses and entry requirements. For the students who came to the day with specific ideas about which universities they wanted to speak to, they could find their chosen university as well as explore different options due to the range of universities present. For the students who had very little idea about how to take their Mandarin learning onto higher education, the fair allowed them to speak to each university individually and weigh up their future options.
The university representative from Goldsmiths (pictured above) was another IOE CI Confucius Classroom alumnus at the day. Lewis Anderson, who is a former student of Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull attended the very first Schools and Universities Day in 2015 and found himself speaking to Goldsmiths University – even though he had come to the 2015 event with another university in mind. Lewis is now in his second year at Goldsmiths studying Mandarin and Politics and loving it!
We would like to say a massive thank-you to all the schools and universities that attended this year’s Schools and Universities Day and contributed to its success.