HAVANA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Confucius Institute of Havana celebrated its eighth anniversary on Thursday.
At a ceremony presided by Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Chen Xi and the Rector of the University of Havana Gustavo Cobreiro, participants highlighted the important role the institute has played in deepening academic and cultural ties between the two countries.
"It is a joy to know that the cultural and educational ties between both countries have been able to develop satisfactorily and have had a great success, as reflected by this Confucius Institute," said Chen.
The progress made by the institute has allowed thousands of Cubans to approach the Chinese language, he noted.
Chen hailed the institute's fruitful and continuous development in many areas, saying "it has been able to provide very positive results as part of our collaboration."
Cuba's Confucius Institute was founded in 2009 and began its academic activities in January 2010, following the signing of a cooperation agreement between China's Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the University of Havana.
During the celebration, students at the institute made presentations in Chinese and an award was presented to the outgoing director of the institute Arsenio Aleman.
So far, around 40 graduates have finished all six levels of Chinese learning, while 50 students in the last four years have managed to obtain scholarships from Hanban to further their studies in China.
The past school year has seen an explosion of enrollment after the institute was relocated to the capital's Chinatown in October 2015.
A total of 950 students were enrolled by the institute, distributed in 43 class groups at the six levels for adults and 14 groups of children and teenagers aged between 11 and 17.