International visit cements friendship between Chinese teachers and CPIT

International visit cements friendship between Chinese teachers and CPIT

How nice it is to have friends from afar:  The words were said in three different languages but the sentiments were the same, at a special powhiri to welcome Chinese teachers to CPIT yesterday (Wednesday September 2).

Conducted in Maori, Mandarin and English, the official welcome of five Chinese teachers onto the Te Puna Wanaka marae, cemented a new relationship between their institutes and CPIT.

From tertiary institutions in the Sichuan province, the teachers are on a three-week scholarship to CPIT, where they are guest tutors at the food and hospitality, engineering and architecture, creative industries and humanities departments.

From China with love: Sichuan teachers visiting CPIT include, front row left, Yang Yinyu (Rose) of Sichuan Normal University, Zhang Lili (Lily) of Sichuan Architectural College, Lan Xiao (Amanda) of Sichuan Tourism College, back row left, Xing Qiao (Joe) of Sichuan Tourism College and Lv Yan of Sichuan Conservatory of Music.

At the event, CPIT's chief executive Kay Giles said it was a joy to see the Sichuan-CPIT partnership come together.

"This relationship has been developing for nearly two years. At the start, it was a business relationship between the Sichuan institutes involved and CPIT, but now it's much more. It's the chance to share ideas, experience and knowledge and build them into a sustainable relationship."

CPIT International Director Beth Knowles said the scholarship programme was part of aninternationalisation strategy by Christchurch Educated and the Sichuan Education Department, to promote study links between the regions and countries. The two entities formed the Sichuan Alliance. A scholarship scheme to provide funding for 10 teachers to spend three weeks in Canterbury at intermediate and secondary schools, along with tertiary institutes, was the first initiative. The key objectives were professional development, including English language and vocational teaching skills, plus participation in some classes, Knowles said. 

It was hoped the visit would be reciprocated.

"During their visit we are exploring ways we can develop a range of activities with each of the institutions in Sichuan province to provide opportunities for our staff and students." 

Wednesday's event was also attended by Christchurch Chinese Consul General deputy Li Xin, Christchurch city councillor Jimmy Chen, Christchurch Educated's Regional Coordinator International Education Bree Loverich.

The teachers will return to China on Friday September 18.