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UK to see 400,000 people learn Mandarin by 2020

(CRI Online)    15:21, October 24, 2017

A new feature article in the UK's Financial Times newspaper is putting a spotlight on Chinese language learning in Britain.

The FT feature is suggesting an increasing number of people in the UK are starting to take an interest in learning Mandarin, suggesting the momentum is being driven - in part - by financial considerations, as China is one of the UK's main trading partners.

The UK government hopes to have 400,000 students enrolled in Mandarin courses by 2020.

Chinese missions in the UK have also been working to try to expand Mandarin education.

29 Confucius Institutes and 148 Confucius Classrooms have been established in the UK, with 160,000 students registering to learn the language, according to statistics from the Education Department with the Chinese Embassy in Britain.

While many British public schools have begun offering Mandarin courses, 45 percent of the UK's private schools have also established a Mandarin education option.

Mandarin is also an approved foreign language course in 86 primary schools and 37 secondary schools in Scotland. Students choosing to study Mandarin in Scotland now outnumber those who choose either the local dialect, Gaelic, or Italian as their second language course.

There is also an increasing number of British students taking the HSK, a national standardized exam for testing the Mandarin language level of non-Chinese speakers. 6,237 British students signed up for HSK by July of this year, 5 times the number of that signed up in 2011.

The British government launched its Mandarin Excellence Programme in September, 2016, with 10 million pounds of funding.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: 陈隽, Bianji)

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