The 11th Confucius Institute Conference was held in Kunming, China from December 10th to 11th, 2016. UCD President Prof Andrew Deeks was among the 2,200 university presidents and regional Confucius Institute representatives from 140 countries who attended the Conference. Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier presented the Medal of the 2016 Individual Performance Excellence Award to Prof Deeks for his outstanding leadership working as the Chairman of the Executive Board of UCD Confucius Institute. Since its inception a decade ago, UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (CII) has won a number of the Confucius Institute of the Year awards, but President Andrew Deeks is the first ever person to be awarded the Medal of the individual performance excellence.
At the Conference, Prof Andrew Deeks chaired and delivered a speech at the University Presidents’ Forum entitled ‘Expanding the Platform of Cooperation between Chinese and Overseas Partners’. He also made a speech as one of four representatives at the closing ceremony. During the Conference, Prof Deeks also met with Vice Minister of Education, Mr Hao Ping, Deputy Director General of Hanban, Mr Ma Jianfei, and Vice President of Renmin University of China, Prof Yi Zhihong to discuss the progress of the construction project of the Model Confucius Institute Building and other issues. Prof Liming Wang, Director of UCD CII and Prof Yongqiang Cai, Chinese Director of UCD CII, also attended the meeting.
The theme of the 2016 Conference is ‘Innovation, Cooperation, Inclusion and Sharing’. A total of 14 International University Presidents’ Forums and Confucius Institutes Directors’ Forums were held during the conference. Prof Liming Wang also delivered a speech entitled ‘One Belt One Road: The Distinctive Role of Confucius Institutes’ at the Directors’ Forum.