College of Humanities Announces the Confucius Institute
On October 23, 2007, the U became one of only 13 institutions in the nation to host a Confucius Institute, and welcomed two full-time language teachers from Sichuan University in addition to engaging in a variety of events to enhance study and knowledge of Chinese language and culture.
The People's Republic of China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language aims to establish Confucius Institutes all over the world, with the goal of creating 100 of them by 2010. The purpose of the institutes is to promote Chinese language study and knowledge of Chinese culture. Each institute is set up with a partner university in China.
Housed in the U's College of Humanities, the Confucius Institute will offer China-related cultural activities such as films, Opera and music performances, art exhibits and public lectures on Chinese society, culture and history, all of which will be open to the campus and the wider community. Chinese language courses will also be offered with flexible scheduling at a variety of levels including evening, weekend and summer intensive courses, open to anyone interested in learning Chinese. The institute will promote the study of Chinese language and culture in schools at the K-12 level, offering teacher workshops and developing educational resources. For companies engaging in business ventures in China, the institute will offer seminars for the business community on useful topics.
"The establishment of a Confucius Institute at the U is an exciting addition to our emerging Asia Center, as China represents one of the Center's strongest regional sectors," states Heidi Camp, Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities.
The College of Humanities is offering a new interdisciplinary master's degree program in Asian Studies began this fall, providing graduate level training forstudents interested in Asia-related careers in business, diplomacy, government, education and academia.
"We expect that a majority of students enrolling in this program will have a focus on China," says Camp, emphasizing the anticipated educational role the institute will play in the students' experience.
University of Utah President Michael K. Young says he expects the Confucius Institute will make significant contributions to the internationalization of campus and preparing students for an increasingly globalized world. All activities of the institute will be funded by China's National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, which will provide an initial $100,000 start-up fund in the first year, after which time the Chinese government will continue to support the programs of the institute upon request. The University of Utah will provide staff support and space for the institute.