[photopress:Confucious_Institute_1.jpg,full,alignright]Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is to have one of the Confucius Institutes that will help Indiana students to learn Chinese and help Indiana companies that are doing business, or would like to do business, with China. This is an initiative of the government of China.
Purdue joins a group of universities worldwide, including Oxford University, in which a Confucius Institute will be established . The Confucius Institute will be supported by resources from IUPUI, Butler University and Indiana University-Bloomington.
The institute will provide, among other things, short term training opportunities for central Indiana companies who wish to do business in China or expand their operations there.
The Confucius Institute ais part of a major new initiative by the Chinese government to establish such institutes in key areas around the world. The institute will receive substantial funding from the Chinese government as well as visiting language instructors from China.
According to campus officials, IUPUI’s application was approved in record time, leap-frogging ahead of 400 other applications that have been submitted from around the world. Possibly this happened through the strong support of IUPUI’s partner in this endeavor, Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou.
The establishment of a Confucius Institute will be central to this goal. Wikipedia describes the Confucius Institute as follows:
Confucius Institute is a non-profit public institute which aims at promoting Chinese language culture and supporting local Chinese teaching internationally through affiliated Confucius Institutes.
Its headquarters is in Beijing and is under the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
After establishing a pilot institute in Tashkent,Uzbekistan, in June 2004, the first Confucius Institute opened on November 212004 in Seoul, Korea and many more have been established in other countries, such as the U.S., Germany and Sweden, where Chinese enjoys an increasing popularity.
The first Confucius Institute in South Eastern Europe was opened in August 2006 in Belgrade, Serbia. The Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China estimates that, by the year 2010, there will be approximately 100 million people worldwide learning Chinese as a foreign language, and it plans to set up 100 Confucius Institutes worldwide.
Sources: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and research.