In a decade, demand for learning Mandarin has expanded significantly, with a wide range of providers catering for leisure, business or academic students in the country. Not only are there many choices in China, but neighbouring Taiwan and Hong Kong are also becoming emerging destinations for Sinophiles.
Foreign languages are in high demand among UK businesses, research has shown, with a particular increase in demand for employees with language skills that give businesses access to fast growing export markets, including Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic. The CBI/Pearson survey uncovers that language learners wield some power in the jobs market.
David Cameron has told UK schools that it is "time to look beyond the traditional focus on French and German and get many more children learning Mandarin". The Prime Minister announced a number of measures to boost Mandarin teaching in the UK on the last day of a trade mission to China.
The Colombian government has welcomed a group of Chinese students to the country who will teach Mandarin at top universities for the next year through an academic mobility programme with China. In its seventh year, the Programa de Movilidad Académica has strengthened ties between China and Colombia.