SOAS University of London

SOAS students triumph again at Chinese Bridge competition

10 April 2018

SOAS students have again won top prizes in the UK final of the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition, held at Queen Elizabeth II Centre on 24 March. There were 31 contestants from 20 universities.

SOAS continues to have an outstanding record of success in the Chinese Bridge Competition, a prestigious international contest in Chinese language and culture proficiency for non-native speakers. For the last eight years, a SOAS student has taken first or second prize in the UK final of the competition, demonstrating SOAS' leading position in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

Chinese Bridge 2018

Gareth Erskine won the Grand Prize, Sam Robbins won First Prize, and Tian Brown Sampson won Third Prize. Gareth and Sam will now represent the UK in the world finals, to be held in China in July. Wan Li Gao, Senior Lector in Chinese, was also awarded Best Coach of the Year.

Two third-year students, Lizzie Murray and Alexander Hitchens, served as the competition hosts.

Dr Nathan W. Hill, Head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, said: "We already know that SOAS trains students in East Asian languages to the highest level found anywhere in the world, but the achievement of these three students showcases this excellence to the world. We are very proud of them, and wish Gareth and Sam great success in the international competition."

The Chinese Bridge Competition began 17 years ago and has since become the world’s most prestigious Chinese proficiency competition for foreign university students. Since the start of the competition in 2002, at least one SOAS contestant has been among the top three winners to go to China to compete in the international competition – a televised event watched by millions in China. SOAS has also produced two winners of the international competition. The School’s consistency in the competition demonstrates SOAS' leading position in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.