Johannesburg – The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been announced the Classroom of the Year by the China-based Confucius Institute (CI) for embodying a holistic learning development.
The institution was chosen out of 560 others globally.
UJ spokesperson Luyanda Ndaba said the Classroom of the Year award embodies holistic learning development that is also culturally contextualised and appropriate.
“UJ has attracted a number of strategic relations with China, including a visit of China’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology. The partnership platform of the UJ and the Confucius Institute has developed an ecosystem for learning, inclusive of research and innovation,” Ndaba said.
She added that last year UJ expanded its activities through the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS).
“CACS seeks to define a measure for a win-win cooperation between Africa and China,” she said.
Professor for Research and Internationalisation at UJ, Saurabh Sinha said the award is a fitting recognition of the university’s quest for developing strategic international collaborations and defining boundaries that enable mutual beneficial, long-term relationships.
“This award is testament to the outstanding leadership of UJ and CI co-directors Dr David Monyae and Professor Peng Yi, who worked tirelessly and made a significant impact in fostering mutual understanding between China, Africa and other countries in the global south,” said Sinha.
The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the 2019 International Chinese Language Education Conference. Monyae and Yi said the collaboration is in the best interest for South Africa and Africa to continue working on enhancing relations with China, to enable economic and socially relevant gains.
Among other accomplishments made with Chinese-based NanjingTech, UJ has also launched a joint research centre in chemical engineering and the environment.
Scientific cooperation between the two countries had been envisioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the recent South Africa-China scientists’ high-level dialogue.