|13 April 2012|
Ministers Attend Launch Of Confucius Institute
|First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA and Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Stephen Farry MLA, have attended the launch of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster.
Junior Ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathan Bell were also in attendance at the ceremony at the University's Jordanstown campus, where the guest of honour was China State Councilor Madam Liu Yandong.
Last autumn it was announced that the University of Ulster had been selected to partner with Zhejiang University of Media and Communications in the establishment of Northern Irelandís first ever Confucius Institute.
In commending the University of Ulster in being selected to establish the Confucius Institute the First Minister said: "We are deeply honoured that Madam Liu is here today to launch the Institute, which marks a major stage in the work of the university and its role as a global establishment of learning.
"We want to build closer relationships with the government and people of China and the Confucius institute will assist us greatly by enabling us to learn more through cultural and academic exchanges and research."
The deputy First Minister said: "The availability of short courses and evening classes which will be offered through the Confucius institute will provide opportunities for our people to learn more about China and its people and culture.
"I trust that this will open new doors to future partnerships across many spheres and I commend the University of Ulster on being selected to be part of the prestigious Confucius worldwide network."
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