SEAS Student takes gold in Chinese language finals

A School of East Asian Studies student has won first place in the UK final of the acclaimed Chinese language proficiency contest the Chinese Bridge.

David GrearyBA Chinese Studies with Russian student, David Geary was announced as the winner of the Grand Prize at the UK Chinese Bridge Competition held in London on Saturday (22 April 2017).

His language performance, which impressed the judges and members of the Chinese Embassy, included a rap in Mandarin Chinese, Chinese dialects and English.

In his rap, he spoke of how hard work is the key to mastering the Chinese language.

He also gave a presentation titled My Football Dream about his ambition of setting up a football training school in Guizhou, where he lived as a child. He talked about how football can bring together people of different nationalities, cultures and beliefs and how it inspires a positive attitude towards life.

David - whose Chinese name is 吉伟仁 Ji Weiren - will now represent the UK at the competition’s international final in China.

The Chinese Bridge competition began 16 years ago and has become the world’s most prestigious Chinese language proficiency competition for foreign university students.

David was awarded the Grand Prize by Minister Qin Zhu from the Chinese Embassy. The event was also attended by Ambassador Xiaoming Liu and Education Council General Yongli Wang.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield - himself a Chinese speaker - said: "I am delighted that David has won this accolade and that he has shown such accomplishment in the Chinese language. The University of Sheffield has outstanding links in China through our work in both research partnerships, teaching and student exchange.

"It is very fitting that this competition is called 'the bridge' as being able to communicate is the first step to any people's coming to understand one another and to work together. Now David will take all he has learned to the international finals. We wish him all the very best as he represents his university and his country in China."

David’s tutor Aina Jiang, a Confucius Institute teacher from Nanjing University, also won the ‘Best Tutor’ Prize of the competition. Nanjing University has a longstanding partnership with the University of Sheffield in key areas of research such as science and engineering, as well as through its Confucius Institute.

David said: “All the contestants taking part were very talented, so it was an honour to win the competition. I would like to thank my tutor, Aina Jiang, first and foremost for all the hard work she put in tutoring me and for her patience, and all my friends and family who helped me through it with their support and encouragement. I would also like to thank the Confucius Institute for their support too. I could not have done any of this without all of you, so thank you.”

He added; “I actually quite enjoyed the competition, normally I hate being on stage, but being able to share my dreams and to rap in Chinese was fun.

“I feel a lot of expectation and pressure now from everyone for me to do well at the finals in China. I'll be giving my all, doing the best I can – not to win, but to be honest. To share my dreams, try to make a difference in the world and do my boys in China proud.”

Read the original news story of the University of Sheffield news page

Chinese Studies at Sheffield

We are one of the world's leading teaching and research centres for Chinese Studies with strong links to major institutions in China, such as Nanjing University and Beijing Language and Culture University. The University of Sheffield also has a prestigious Confucius Institute which provides a wealth of support and extra-curricular activities, and extensive contacts with companies and institutions that regularly come directly to SEAS to recruit our graduates.

Through the expertise and experience of the Chinese Studies staff, we offer a wide range of modules and course options, many of which draw upon the cutting-edge research undertaken here. Our degrees give you the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of China and the broader region, acquire a wide range of transferable skills in research, writing, analysis, presentation, project management and teamwork, as well as attain an advanced level of Chinese language.

Our Chinese Studies Courses

Single Honours
Chinese Studies

Dual Honours
Chinese Studies with Japanese
Chinese Studies with French
Chinese Studies with German
Chinese Studies with Russian
Chinese Studies with Spanish
Chinese Studies and Business Management
Chinese Studies and History
Music and Chinese Studies