Nicolas Idier Visits the Yenching Academy of Peking University

On April 4, Nicolas Idier, the inspector-general of Chinese language education in France, visited Yenching Academy of Peking University and was warmly received by YCA Dean Dong Qiang, Associate Deans Fan Shiming and Brent Haas, and Assistant Deans Chen Changwei, Zuo Jing, and Guo Fei, at the Jingyuan Courtyard 3. The French Scholars from the 2022 Cohort, François de Navacelle, Heloise Marie Philippine Garry, Chang Ling Li, and Pacome Sebastien, joined Inspector-general Idier in the talk session.

Dean Dong Qiang and Inspector-general Idier are old friends. Prof. Dong welcomed Mr. Idier, who was in the French delegation led by French President Macron and managed to visit the Academy despite his tight schedule. Prof. Dong announced the Academy’s plan to launch international cooperation projects this year as part of Peking University’s international strategic development program. He saw Inspector-general Idier’s visit as a good start for cooperation between the Academy and educational institutes in France.

Associate Dean Haas introduced the Academy’s mission, curriculum, composition of students, the ratio of French students, and inter-collegial cooperation with French universities.

Inspector-general Idier appreciated his first post-COVID visit to China and expressed willingness to help forge partnerships between Yenching Academy and more French universities. Mr. Idier is responsible for developing youth education, universities and research institutes, and youth activities in France. Training for French-Chinese language teachers constitutes an important part of his work. The Inspector-general emphasized that training French-Chinese language teachers is crucial because many more French students are taking Chinese language courses. He also noted that good Chinese-language teachers must be proficient in the language and, more importantly, understand Chinese culture. Mr. Idier highlighted that closer cooperation with Peking University benefits Chinese-language teacher training and Chinese learning in France.

Prof. Dong agreed with the Inspector-general that Chinese-language teachers could better perform their teaching responsibilities if they grasp the essence of Chinese culture. He would like to be a “message man” and do what he can for future cooperation between Peking University and France.

The four French students from the 2022 Cohort had a good talk with the Inspector-general about their studies and life in the Academy.

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