On December 5th, the 13thConfucius Institute Conference was concluded in Chengdu. Ten domestic universities and colleges including Sichuan University, Beijing Normal University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University won the title of the "Advanced Chinese Partner of Confucius Institutes". It also marked the first time granting of such honor to SCU.
Ms. Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairperson of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, addressed the opening ceremony on Dec. 4th. The Minister of Education Chen Baosheng presided over the ceremony, which was attended by Mr. Wang Jianguo, Chairman of SCU Council, on behalf of Sichuan University as the co-organizer of this event.
Themed with "Promoting development through reform and opening-up and creating a bright future with concerted efforts", the conference launched two special forums and eight Chinese and foreign deans’ forums with more than 1,500 representatives from over 150 countries and regions. A workshop was set up for the first time, providing a platform for the presidents, deans and experts to discuss the related development concerns of Confucius Institutes. Matt Salmon, Vice President of Arizona State University and Chairman of the Consulting Committee of American Center of the Confucius Institute, gave a talk at the deans’ forum on "Shaping and Displaying the Public Image of the Confucius Institutes".
Currently, Sichuan University has established five Confucius Institutes and 25 Confucius Classrooms with about 12900 students, in cooperation with world-class universities from the United States, Belgium, and South Korea. The Confucius Institute at Woosong University, the first Confucius Institute of SCU, was established in 2007, and awarded the title of the "Advanced Confucius Institute" in 2010. Established in 2016, the Confucius Institute at the Free University of Brussels is determined to turn itself into a brand-new research-based institute, which will also focus on the research of Chinese and European issues and cultivate talents in this aspect.
Three Confucius Institutes in the United States are now running well.
The Confucius Institute at Arizona State University, established in 2007, has opened 14 Confucius Classrooms at five campuses with an enrollment of over 5,500 students. It has played an active role in developing the student exchange programs and other short-term programs between the two universities, and also established a scientific research platform with the Institute of Latin American Studies of SCU; moreover, eight professors from Arizona State University have joined our UIP activities; the Biodesign Institute is currently discussing with us about the establishment of a biological design center, which is scheduled to be founded in 2019 as a national medical center. The Confucius Institute at Arizona State University won the title of the "Advanced Confucius Institute" in 2016.
In October 2007, the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah made its debut by implementing Chinese immersion programs at 64 elementary schools in 12 campuses, with an enrollment of about 12,000 students. Its active role and its work were recognized by the state government and the University of Utah as an indispensable part of the University. The colleges of art from the two institutions are discussing the signing of the 2+2 undergraduate joint training program.
The Confucius Institute in Washington State is the only state Confucius institute in the United States. In the past eight years since its establishment, it concluded the Chinese teaching partnership with nine universities including all six comprehensive research universities in Washington State. US Dean Jeffrey Riedginer highly praised the Confucius Institute's efforts to promote exchanges between Washington State University and Sichuan University, help local universities and communities learn the Chinese language and the Chinese society, and also expressed their desire to continue mutual cooperation.
On the eve of the conference, Li Yanrong, president of Sichuan University, met with 14 representatives of five Confucius Institutes. He said that the Confucius Institute is a strong means of SCU for the internationalization, so SCU will continue to support the construction of overseas Confucius Institutes for promoting the cooperation and cultural exchanges between Chinese and foreign universities and colleges.