The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland at UCD has published a major report entitled “Demand for Mandarin Chinese Teaching in Irish Post-Primary Schools”The report, the culmination of 2 years of work by a team of Irish and Chinese researchers led by Dr Liming Wang, Dr. Lan Li and Dr. Emer Nowlan.
The report launch was hosted by Dr. Liming Wang, the director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and the Irish Institute for Chinese Studies, at Shelbourne Hotel on 25th November, 2009. In attendance were several leading actors in the relationship between the two states, including the Chinese ambassador to Ireland, Liu Biwei, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheal Martin TD , Dr. Philip Nolan, Deputy President of UCD and Principal of Lorento secondary Schoool, Catherine Donagh. The secondary school students and teachers involved with Chinese study also attended the launch.
After the speeches and presentations, the students in secondary school played a series of Chinese style performance, including Chinese songs and dances, playing Guzheng which is a kind of traditional Chinese instrument, displaying martial arts, the students from Lorento secondary schools even wrote "friendship beween Ireland and China last forever" in Chinese as a gift for Ambassador.
The survey “Demand for Mandarin Chinese Teaching in Irish Post-Primary Schools” which examined the provision of and attitudes to Mandarin Chinese teaching in post-primary schools, was responded to by 24.1% of the post-primary schools in the country (181 out of 750) without follow up or further encouragement. This compares favourably with return rates for similar surveys of post-primary principals,indicating a high level of interest in Mandarin Chinese. This survey provides the Irish education sector with careful analysis of the demand for Chinese language teaching while also incorporating a study of the issues and problems which will require attention if the noble aim of implementing Mandarin teaching in Irish post-primary schools is to be realised.