The Confucius Institute has had a fantastic start to the new academic year, with new exchange staff arriving in Aberdeen from China and participating in Aberdeen Doors open Day for the first time this year, it was a fantastic day with more than 240 people visiting the Institute to enjoy Chinese music and tea, as well as trying their hand at Chinese calligraphy.
Dr Will Tuladhar-Douglas stepped down from the post of Director of the Confucius Institute at the end of July in order to return to research and consulting on biocultural diversity and sacred sites. He will remain an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University from 1st August 2017 to 31 July 2018.
Dr Michelle Macleod is currently Acting Director of the Confucius Institute. Dr Macleod is a Senior Lecturer in Gaelic and Acting Director of Teaching and Learning in the University’s School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture: her teaching and research interests include Gaelic literature, language teaching, community language planning and adult language acquisition. She has previous experience of running a language and culture centre which had both Higher Education and community outreach programmes. She has been the programme coordinator for the University’s sustained studies in Mandarin as well as Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute since 2015 and thus brings a wealth of experience along with a keen understanding of the Institute.
As Acting Director her immediate priorities include a programme of cultural events that will take place this semester including public events in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a visit from Wuhan People’s Theatre Company. She will also be progressing current plans to extend the current Institute building on campus.
Welcoming the news, Professor John Paterson, Vice-Principal for Internationalisation at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The University’s Confucius Institute has gone from strength to strength since it was first established in 2013, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the dedicated team there, who have achieved so much this year.
“I am delighted that Dr Michelle Macleod is currently Acting Director, and I am sure with her fresh approach along with her special interest in Mandarin (which she has been studying for the past three years) she will take the Institute to even greater heights.”