International Spotlight

Confucius Institute established at Illinois

Sharita Forrest
12/16/2013  8:00 am

Officials from Jiangxi Normal University in Nanching, China, and the University of Illinois signed an agreement establishing a Confucius Institute at the Urbana campus during an event Nov. 21.

The institute will be a unit within the U. of I. College of Education, which will operate the institute in close collaboration with International Programs and Studies, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Chinese language program, which is a unit within the department ofEast Asian languages and cultures.

A language testing and research facility will be a component of the institute, which will be housed in the Education Building at 1310 S. Sixth St., in Champaign.

The initial budget for the institute at the U. of I. campus includes $150,000 in startup funds from the Chinese Ministry of Education, which the university is matching with funds from the campus, the College of Education, and International Programs and Studies.

A board of directors comprising representatives from the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing, Jiangxu Normal University and the U. of I. will govern the institute.

Hua-Hua Chang, who is a professor of educational psychology, of psychology and of statistics at the U. of I., will serve as the institute’s director.

More than 300 Confucius institutes exist worldwide, including several at Big Ten campuses and other large research universities. China began establishing the public nonprofit institutes in 2004 to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries and facilitate cultural exchanges.