Monday, October 1, 2007
Confucius Institute to open on UTD campus
Non-profit center designed to promote Chinese language and culture.
This fall, the UTD campus will become home to one of 21 U.S.-based non-profit institutes designed to promote Chinese language and culture, operated with the participation of the People's Republic of China, the Office of Chinese Language International, the University of Texas at Dallas and China Three Gorges University. Dubbed "Confucius Institutes," 120 are currently up and running worldwide; this will be the first such center to open in Texas.
The center will be housed within the School of Arts & Humanities.
UTD President David E. Daniel puts it this way: "The establishment of a Confucius Institute is significant for the University. China’s growing economic and political power has created a palpable demand worldwide for Chinese language instruction and information about China by students, scholars and business and other professionals. The institute will provide this crucial knowledge to a variety of audiences in Texas.” (Including, perhaps, local businesspeople who deal with Chinese clients on a regular basis.)
Functionally, the institute will result in an expansion of the existing Chinese language educational curriculum; an expansion of the university's offerings in China and Asia studies; and the addition of workshops, public lectures and cultural programs to increase the China awareness level of North Texans. (How, for instance, does one say "Howdy" in Mandarin or Cantonese?)
The designation of UTD as a Confucius Institute site comes with an initial grant of $100K from the China Ministry of Education. Additional funding will be raised through grants, fundraising activities and the collection of fees for services/classes/artistic performances, with the eventual goal of making the institute financially self-sustaining.
posted by JM
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