The China leg of Bournemouth University’s (BU) Festival of Learning came to an end with a series of cultural experiences to highlight the rich heritage of China’s Henan Province.
Staff and students from Bournemouth University were treated to a tour of the Shaolin Temple near Zhengzhou followed by a cultural music display held in a valley between two of the Province’s famous mountains.
The Festival is in its fourth year, but is taking place internationally for the first time in 2016, and included presentations and events from BU academics and students, as well as staff, students and graduates of SIAS International University near Zhengzhou, where the Festival was held.
The second day of the Festival of Learning in China began with a presentation from BU Business and Marketing students Harley Hashtroudi and Harry Cutler-Smith, who spoke about their time in China on the #DestinationChina exchange programme and their increased knowledge of innovation in China.
A number of staff then took part in a panel discussion talking about the importance of the Festival of Learning in China and the links that have been created between both Higher Education institutes as a result.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, and Shawn Chen, Chairman of SIAS International University, then brought the campus-based portion of the Festival to a close by underlining the similarities between both universities and the desire that closer links are established for the future.
Speaking at the Festival, Professor John Vinney said, “The Festival of Learning is an expression of what makes Bournemouth University so great but what has impressed me is how the model has been so well received in China, and how we are really partnering with SIAS to deliver this event.
"We’ve had some brilliant events and some great interaction with the students.”
The afternoon of the Festival focussed on showcasing the rich history and cultural heritage of the Henan Province, where SIAS International University is based, including a visit to a Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Zen philosophy and Shaolin Kung Fu training.
The Temple is still in operation, and staff and students were able to observe some of the rituals being carried out by the Temple’s monks while learning about the history of the region and the Temple.
Following this, staff and students were taken to an outdoor amphitheatre nestled between two mountains to watch a cultural music display based on the five elements, with performers coupling traditional dance and music with the beautiful landscape of the region.
The Festival of Learning continues in Bournemouth until Wednesday 29 June, while the Malaysia leg of the Festival runs on 29 and 30 June 2016. This is the first time the Festival has been held on a global scale, with events running in Bournemouth, China and Malaysia respectively.
Other events to take place in China as a part of the Festival of Learning included a friendship basketball match with teams from both Universities, with Professor Vinney taking to the field as a part of the BU team, and a number of parallel sessions run by academics from BU to showcase the knowledge, research and expertise of the University.
For more information and images from the Festival of Learning, visit our Festival hub page