New centre underpins ambitious plans to boost the learning and teaching of Chinese across the UK

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Category: News

The creation of a centre for the learning and teaching of Chinese at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education is being funded thanks to a generous donation from John Swire & Sons Ltd. Headed up by a newly endowed Chair, the aim of this initiative is to transform the study of Chinese across the UK.

The centre will provide initial and continuing teacher education with a national reach and will undertake associated world-leading research in collaboration with a network of schools across the country. It is expected to become fully operational by 2026. In the interim the initial focus will be on recruiting the Chair and developing the Mandarin PGCE programme, which will be closely aligned to the centre’s research.

The endowment of the Chair, along with the seed-funding to establish the centre, will help the University to raise the profile of the world’s second most-spoken language through carrying out cutting-edge research, building stronger networks between the University and teaching practitioners, and improving access and opportunities for school pupils. The centre will encourage high-quality learning and teaching of Chinese in state schools throughout the UK, opening up the opportunity to all schoolchildren, regardless of their background, to gain access to Chinese language and culture and allow them to excel.

The Director for Oxford’s Department of Education, Professor Victoria Murphy said: “We could not be more delighted to be establishing this centre thanks to this generous donation. We aim to be a beacon for research and education, and a go-to place for teachers seeking advice. We are very grateful to John Swire & Sons for making this possible and are excited to see how the centre develops.”

Sam Swire, Executive Director of John Swire & Sons and Chairman of the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, said: “We are very pleased to be funding this long-term initiative.  The study of Chinese is both challenging and important, and this venture will be a key part of the infrastructure enabling it to flourish in schools across the country.”