UJ students star in Chinese Bridge Competition

The cover page of Shannon Rene Bennett’s speech.

On 6-7 May, the Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine at the University of the Western Cape hosted the final round of the 19th Chinese Bridge Competition for South African students, which was held online.

The competitors comprised 15 students from University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University, and the Durban University of Technology. Officials of the Ministry of Higher Education, the Chinese Embassy in South Africa and the Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town participated as well. Students at the UJCI won second prize, and an honourable mention.

The second prize was won by Shannon Bennett (24), a botany student at UJ and a student at the UJCI. She will now travel to China to observe the final competition. Previously, UJCI also selected Shannon to travel to Washington, D.C. for the International Youth Peace Forum in August 2019.

The cover page of Aaron Krishna’s speech.

The honourable mention was gained by Aaron Krishna (25), a student at the UJ College of Business and Economics, who gained the highest score in the speech portion of the competition. She has been selected for the two-week Confucius Institute summer camp in China in 2021.

UJCI Co-Directors Prof Peng Yi and Dr David Monyae devoted a lot of energy to the internal event aimed at selecting the UJCI competitors, and UJCI staff team spent three months preparing the selected participants, even during the lockdown.

The Chinese Bridge Competition is a large-scale international competition managed by Hanban, the Chinese government agency managing the Confucius Institute system, aimed at stimulating interest in Chinese among foreign students, and strengthening an understanding of the Chinese language and culture.Prof Saurabh Sinha, UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor, congratulated the two students, and commended the competition for its role in providing students with an opportunity to communicate with their counterparts at other universities in South Africa, as well as elsewhere in the world.

The Chief Director of International Relations, Mr Ghaleeb Jeppie; the Deputy Vice-Chancellors of the University of the Western Cape, Professors Jose Frantz and Pamela Duben; the Chinese Consul General in Cape Town Mr Lin Jing; and the First Secretary of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Wang Daoyu all expressed their congratulations on the success of the competition.