Expanding university contacts with China

Tianjin Foreign Studies University (TFSU) has confirmed and renewed its educational and cultural cooperation ties with the University of Debrecen in an agreement that was signed in Debrecen on Thursday. President Chen Fachun, the leader of a visiting Chinese delegation, also handed over the document of the accreditation of our Confucius Institute for another five years to the leaders of UD.

The partnership between these two institutions of higher education began more than five years ago, while the Confucius Institute of the University of Debrecen was established in 2019 at the Faculty of Humanities. This time, it was on April 4 that a delegation from Tianjin Foreign Studies University visited our CI, which serves to promote the Chinese language and the culture of this Far Eastern country. The members of the delegation were given an information package on the history, the program offer and the industrial relations of the University of Debrecen.

“There are quite a few good examples for the cooperation between our Confucius Institute, Debrecen’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as local businesses, including research and industrial projects in addition to the basic mission of CI-s, which is language teaching. The management of the University of Debrecen attaches great significance to further strengthening these relations,” said Károly Pető, Vice-Rector General upon receiving the delegation from Tianjin together with Ms. Okszána Kiszil, Director of Coordination and Strategy.

President Chen Fachun noted the valuable experience he gained during his visit and stressed that he attached particular importance to the fact that the Faculty of Humanities and the Confucius Institute are both located in the central building of the university.

“The University of Debrecen, with its long history, its vast area and its complexity, is impressive indeed, and I think we can learn a lot from you. The historical relics in the Main Building and the exhibition about the past of the university are wonderful, and I must say that I have seen many a university before, but what I noticed here is really rare. It seldom is the case that the departments and institutes involved in the teaching of humanities are located ‘in the heart’ of the university,” he said.

During the bilateral meeting, Károly Pető and Chen Fachun signed an agreement on strengthening educational and cultural cooperation between their respective institutions, and the head of the Chinese delegation also handed over the accreditation document of the Confucius Institute of the University of Debrecen for another five years, issued by the Beijing Center of Confucius Institutes.

The delegation then paid a visit to the Dean’s Office of our Faculty of Humanities, where the guests were welcomed by Dean Róbert Keményfi. First, he thanked for the long-standing and continuing support provided for the work and efforts of the Confucius Institute supervised by the Faculty.

Dean Keményfi stressed that the mission of the Faculty of Humanities is the transmission and cultivation of domestic and international culture. The Confucius Institute in Debrecen plays a significant part in this effort, promoting the Chinese language and culture through various initiatives, including regular conferences and maintaining close relations with similar institutes in Hungary.

What was also discussed at the meeting included the faculty's medium-term plans for further strengthening Chinese language teaching by launching a Chinese bachelor's degree program, for which the professional assistance of Tianjin Foreign Studies University (TFSU) is deemed indispensable.

Professor Chen Fachun, President of TFSU, assured Dean Róbert Keményfi of his ongoing support and also invited him to visit China as a member of the University of Debrecen delegation to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Tianjin Foreign Studies University in the autumn of 2024.

The next item in the delegation’s program schedule was a guided campus tour, during which the foreign guests visited Debrecen’s Clinical Center, the Learning Center and the University Sports Campus.

Debrecen’s Confucius Institute also offered a special treat to the guests in the form of a unique exhibition opening. The university library presented a work “painted” through the use of stamps by Judit Szendrei, a contemporary artist from Debrecen. The piece was introduced in the library venue called Sziget [Island], as one of a series of works depicting the signs of the Chinese horoscope, created to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, which began on February 10, 2024.

Last but not least, the members of the delegation from Tianjin Foreign Studies University also met with Chinese faculty and students on the premises of our Confucius Institute, while the official part of their visit ended at the office of Debrecen Summer School.

Press Centre – BZs, TH