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Stellenbosch students win Chinese Bridge competition
Author: Saidaer Muzhapaer and Amanda Tongha
Published: 02/06/2015

Two Stellenbosch University (SU) students are on their way to China after winning the South African Preliminary Competition of the 14th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for College Students. Liesl Kotze, an Honours Mandarin student, and Jamie Cripwell, a PhD student in Process Engineering, were named joint winners of the competition, an international contest sponsored by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters. Deemed the best in the competition, they will represent South Africa at the global "Chinese Bridge" competition in Changsha City in Hunan in July.

Liesl and Jamie were not the only SU students who impressed in the local competition. Two other Matie students Leanne Robinson and Daniel Stein came third in the contest held in Durban on 30 May 2015.

More than 30 participants from different Confucius Institutes and classrooms, including the Confucius Institute at SU – part of the Postgraduate and International Office ​ took part in the contest in Durban.  The 8th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency for Secondary School Students was hosted at the same time. The theme for the competition was My Chinese Dream and included a writing exam, speech and talent show.  The Consul-General of China in Durban, Wang Jianzhou and Chinese Embassy representative Song Bo attended the event.

Liesl, who impressed judges with her knowledge of Chinese, says she is a little bit nervous, but looks forward to participate in China. The honours student says she loves languages and will continue with her Master's degree in Mandarin. "I would like to be an interpreter and Chinese is a good language to learn in South Africa."

​Photo: From left are Liesl Kotze, Wang Jianzhou and Jamie Cripwell.