The Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius once said: “Learning without thought is labour lost, thought without learning is perilous.”
So it is perhaps only fitting that a man born in the sixth century BC is continuing to play a role in the world of modern-day education.
Confucius Classrooms are initiatives that aim to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.
Dozens exist around the country, with one of the latest being set up in a partnership between Leeds College of Art and the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.
And a celebration of all things Chinese was laid on for guests as the scheme was launched at the college. The line-up of entertainment included lion dancing, face-changing opera and kung fu demonstrations.
Jenny Oxley, head of internationalisation at Leeds College of Art, said: “Being a Confucius Classroom will help us to support our students as they learn about Chinese language and culture, allowing us to share ideas and resources to create interesting projects which will promote intercultural understanding and global competencies.”
The event also provided an opportunity to showcase the stylish results of a pilot project that took place last year.
Leeds College of Art fashion students were challenged to come up with a modern twist on the traditional Chinese qipao dress.
Models at Wednesday evening’s launch celebrations wore the competition’s winning designs, which were produced by Jodie Reynolds and Bethan Smith.
The Business Confucius Institute aims to promote the understanding of Chinese culture and the teaching of Mandarin in the UK.