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. UJ was chosen out of 560 institutions globally.
“Classroom of the Year embodies holistic learning development that is also culturally contextualised and appropriate,” said UJ spokesperson Luyanda Ndaba. “UJ has attracted a number of strategic relations with China, including a visit of China’s vice-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.”
Last year, the institution 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,” Ndaba said.
UJ’s professor for research and internationalisation, Saurabh Sinha, said the award was “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 a 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 was “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.