13 June 2011
Assistant Chief Minister, UK and International Relations, Senator Freddie Cohen, today (13 June) agreed to the formal twinning of Hautlieu school with a Chinese secondary school at a meeting at the Ministry of Education in Beijing.
At the meeting, the Director of the Division of European Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Education, Mr Yang Xiaochun, agreed that Hautlieu will be provided with a list of suggested schools from which to choose. This agreement follows a successful trip to China that was organised by Hautlieu school last year with the help of the Chinese Embassy in London. During the trip, 80 students and staff from the school engaged in a number of cultural activities and developed links with counterparts in China. The request from Hautlieu for a formal twinning with a Chinese secondary school was subsequently made.
Senator Cohen’s talks today (13 June) also explored opportunities for Jersey students to engage in further education in China and for a reciprocal agreement to be made for Jersey to host Chinese students. These talks are part of a wider programme of engagement with China, which aims to develop Jersey’s diplomatic ties with the country, as well as providing strong educational links to the world’s fastest growing economy. During the meeting, Senator Cohen also promoted the possibility of the internationally renowned, non-profit Confucius Institute working with Jersey in an educational capacity. From its head office in Beijing, the Confucius Institute runs highly respected teaching programmes in countries across the world, focusing on Chinese language and culture.
Senator Cohen commented: “I am delighted to have reached an agreement to twin Hautlieu with a Chinese secondary school. I very much look forward to the opportunity for us to send Jersey students out to China and for Chinese students to visit our Island. This is precisely the kind of agreement for cultural and educational exchange that we had been hoping to achieve on this visit, so I am pleased to be able to report such a successful outcome.”
Head teacher of Hautlieu school, Lesley Toms, added: “We are delighted to hear that an agreement has been made to twin Hautlieu with a secondary school in China. This will serve to develop our students’ internationalism and facilitate increasing opportunities to develop our language curriculum and make important links with the world’s fastest growing economy.”
Senator Cohen is part of a delegation visiting Beijing, led by the Chief Minister and including the Chief Executive of Jersey Finance Limited.