The Confucius Institute Foundation of Barcelona has recognised the URV as an authorised centre for the official Chinese language tests, which will take place in June and will be repeated once every year. The decision was announced as part of the agreement that the URV has had with this institution since 2014. The Institute’s directors visited the University on 11 March after holding a meeting to discuss strengthening and expanding the partnership between the two institutions
The official Chinese Proficiency Tests HSK (for anyone over 14 years old) and YCT (for children under 14) will be held at the URV next June. Before now, these tests, which are officially recognised by the Chinese state, could only be taken in Barcelona, and, since last year, in Girona. Under the agreement, which stems from a previous agreement with the Confucius Institute Foundation of Barcelona (FICB) in 2014, this institution recognises the URV as the authorised test centre for the official Chinese language tests in Tarragona. The institution will train university teachers as examiners and will help with the registration. For its part, the URV will make its facilities available to students for testing, and provide the necessary logistical support. It is estimated that in this first session in Tarragona, between 40 and 50 people will take the tests.
The decision was ratified at a meeting held on Friday 11 March at Campus Catalunya between Shiru Chang, Chinese head of the Confucius Institute Foundation of Barcelona (FICB); Helena Casas-Tost, local head of the same institution; Mar Gutiérrez Colón-Plana, Vice-rector for Internationalisation; Pilar Álvarez, officer at the Lifelong Learning Centre and coordinator of the Chinese courses of the URV Foundation (FURV) and Zhu Rong Rong, teacher of the Spanish programme for Chinese students and the Chinese programme for Spanish students.
During their meeting, it was also agreed that the institution would make a donation of books in Chinese to the University, and expand and strengthen the existing ties between the institution and the URV, which derives from the collaboration agreement which was first signed in 2014 with the idea of designing joint cultural and teaching activities related to Chinese language and culture in the region of Tarragona. Helena Casas-Tost assessed the work that is being carried out at the URV in this regard “very positively”.
Chinese courses at the University
The Chinese courses that the Lifelong Learning Center of the FURV currently offers allow students to learn the language, culture and customs. There are four different courses, at different levels of the HSK certification system and the international Chinese curriculum. So students can learn step by step, and as they reach each of the levels, they take an exam. The courses are practice oriented, and a language partner is assigned so that they can practise what they learn in class, particularly conversation.
The courses on offer are for the certificates HSK1, HSK2, HSK3 and HSK4. These are: Basic 1 (from October to February), Basic 2 (from February to June), Basic 3 (from October to June) and Intermediate 2 (from October to June). Classes are held in the afternoons at Campus Catalunya, and the university community have a 10% discount.
About the Confucius Institute Foundation of Barcelona
The FICB is a non-profit organisation made up of Casa Àsia, the University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Beijing Foreign Studies University (China). The institution aims to spread the Chinese language and culture in Catalonia. It organises Chinese language learning and teacher training courses, it helps Catalan institutions with Chinese language learning and schedules academic and cultural activities about Chinese culture, among others.