At YanFu Foundation, we place culture at the heart of everything we do. Yan Fu has long been hailed as a master of both Western and Chinese studies. He played a pivotal role in introducing Western ideas and culture into China in the early twentieth century, and also made every effort to explain Chinese culture and values to Western society.
We see our work in the cultural field following this long and distinctive tradition. We believe that culture serves as a catalyst for people to understand each other. Through the intercultural dialogue and exchange, we can appreciate the diversity amongst us and also build common ground for collective actions.
We aim to work with artists – the cultural producers to showcase and promote their work in a cultural context unfamiliar to them. In the UK and Europe, we see a surge of interest in the Chinese arts, literature, music, film and the performing arts. In China, the demand for Western arts is also booming and it is widely anticipated that the Chinese arts market will emerge as the largest market in the world in the coming decade. YanFu Foundation will work with the leading cultural and arts institutions to make arts and culture cross the boundaries and illuminate lives.
A crucial mission of YanFu Foundation is to promote the value of international education. Yan Fu himself was a great example of how international education can transform a person’s life, even in a developmental trajectory of a country. During his days of studying in the UK, Yan Fu was not only learning from his teachers and classmates in the classroom, but also spending a lot time of observing English courts, media and society. His experiences in the UK undoubtedly transformed his life and he later influenced millions of Chinese people through his translated works and efforts in building the earliest higher education institutions in China.
We believe in an increasingly globalised world. Young people can only become responsible global citizens through obtaining high quality international education. We also view international education as diverse practice, encompassing the best of all countries, rather than dominated by a single Western model.
We aim to use both traditional and innovative methods to support international education, such as summer camp, intensive short courses, theme-based training and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Learning). We also support the learning of both English and Mandarin Chinese in the UK and China.
As China is growing more prosperous, international education might be a common educational choice for the better-off families, but a large number of young people from less privileged backgrounds still find it difficult to receive high quality international education. We will address this issue and design programmes to promote a wider access of international education for young people.
Innovation is an important working area at YanFu Foundation. Yan Fu was the first person to introduce the evolution theory into China, credited with coining words like mathematics, chemistry and physics in Chinese. He also made the phrase “survival of fitness” known to the millions of Chinese people. He was a true believer of the value of science and regarded the science as the true and only real knowledge of the world. He also pointed out that we should pay more attention to the institutions, culture and various “environmental” factors which stimulate the innovation, rather than merely focus on the instrumental use of science and technology per se. At YanFu Foundation, we believe that innovation comes through independent thinking, creativity and collaboration.
We aim to facilitate the dialogue and collaborations between scientific/technological communities in China and UK through providing training, organising conference/workshops and eventually making grants for research related to the innovation.