Confucius Institute launched in University of Chicago to support research on China

[Source]    Global Times [Time]    2010-06-03 09:50:12 

As part of its ongoing commitment to research on China, the University of Chicago, in collaboration with the Chinese Language Council International and Renmin University, announced on Tuesday to establish a Confucius Institute on its campus in Hyde Park.

The Confucius Institute will support a broad program of research on China, supporting the work of faculty, graduate students and undergraduates, in addition to language teaching, teacher training and study abroad.

The new Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago was launched on the recommendation of the University’s Committee on Chinese Studies, a part of the Center for East Asian Studies, which voted in its spring 2009 meeting to encourage the creation of a program that would go beyond language studies to support research on China. The initial agreement, signed last fall, is fora period of five years.

"China’s extraordinary transformation and growth on the world stage make this a crucial time to intellectually engage and understand the nation and its development," said Dali Yang, Director of the Center of East Asian Studies and Professor in Political Science and the College, who was selected to serve as the Institute’s faculty director.

"The Confucius Institute will provide one more important channel through which the University supports a wide range of research on China," added Yang.

Ji Baocheng, the President of Renmin University of China, told medias that the famous university has launched one dozen of Confucius Institutes all over the world.

"I am just going to Columbia University to talk about another Confucius University," said Ji.

As of November 2009, there were 282 Confucius Institutes and 272 Confucius Classrooms in 88 countries and regions. In the United States, there are more than 80 Confucius Institutesin all.

Funding for the Institute will be provided by the Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban, affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education and supporting Confucius Institutes around the world. Yang said that programs could begin in earnest in fall 2010.

Robert J. Zimmer, the President of University of Chicago, and Yang Guoqiang, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, were in attendance.