BCI Highly Commended in the Leeds Partnership Award (Global Category)

The BCI has been Highly Commended in the ‘Global Category’ at the 2022 Leeds Partnership Awards. 

Giles Blackburne, Executive Director, and Professor Zhang Xiaofeng, Chinese Director, attended the award evening held on 9 May 2022 to celebrate those who have enriched the Leeds community by embodying the values of the Leeds Partnership this academic year. 

The Global Award honours members of our community who work on a global scale. Its goal is to recognise those who have actively promoted and maintained international or intercultural activities, education, or competence. 

The commendation is a great recognition of the positive impact of the BCI on the overall sense of well-being and belonging of our global community. 

We maintained our teaching and operational excellence, plus also establishing a series of aspirational and innovative activities to encourage students studying online. 

In February 2022, we invited students to e-join a colleague from our partner university in China as she showed her Chinese New Year festive routine and celebrated the Chinese New Year with her family. This form of media created an immersive experience for students and deepened their understanding of Chinese culture through an intercultural approach. As the students recognised themselves as participant observers, it created a meaningful intercultural immersion experience. In this way, despite being at a distance, we brought people closer together. 

We also built up an aspirational global learning community through the Mandarin Aspirations project, which we launched last year. The project aims to encourage and celebrate the learning of Chinese by sharing the motivations (why study Chinese), study experiences (challenges and rewards) and study outcomes (employability, confidence and intercultural skills) of Chinese language learners. In the last year, we shared 12 case studies of Leeds alumni and staff who use their Mandarin skills to shape our global community, inspiring our students and over a thousand followers. In addition, we invited ten speakers whose impacts are felt around the world in fields including media, business, education, and innovation, to share their perspectives on the connections between their global careers and the Chinese language. 

We dedicate this commendation to all BCI staff and students who have participated in and supported our past, present, and future efforts to promote and support international and intercultural activities.