Vice Minister Xu Lin, the director of more than 400 Confucius Institutes around the world, will help Colorado State University open its own Confucius Institute at 4 p.m. Friday, April 12, at the formal dedication ceremony.
CSU’s Confucius Institute will be the only one located at a four-year university in Colorado, and one of 90 in the United States. It is located in a former residence at 1413 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins. The dedication ceremony will be attended by CSU System Chancellor Michael Martin, President Tony Frank and Provost Rick Miranda.
“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Xu here for our formal dedication,” said Jim Cooney, Vice Provost for International Affairs at CSU. “She is the highest-ranking Chinese official to ever visit our campus, and we are thrilled she has chosen to recognize our efforts in campus internationalization.”
The first Confucius Institute was opened in Seoul, South Korea, in 2004, with a goal of promoting Chinese language and culture to local populations. Headquartered in Beijing, the program is overseen by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Hanban hopes to open 1,000 institutes by 2020.
“The Confucius Institute will help the local population – our students and the community at large – have a better understanding of Chinese language and culture,” Cooney said. “It will be an outstanding addition to Fort Collins and Colorado.”
CSU’s institute will include a meeting room, classroom and offices. Non-credit Chinese language and culture classes will be offered, and the institute will support CSU’s Chinese language program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
CSU announced plans last year to open a Confucius Institute as part of its ongoing mission to internationalize the campus. Research has been the anchor for these initiatives. In addition, CSU has more than tripled the number of Chinese students on campus over the past five years, and hopes to boost its total enrollment of international students to 3,000 by 2020 – a more than 144 percent increase over the current population of 1,226.
Dr. Xu will be accompanied by several other representatives of the Chinese government, both here and in China:
• Liu Keli, Chairman, Hunan University Council, Changsha
• Zhao Weiping, Consul General for China, Chicago
• Chen Weijia, Education Counselor, Chinese Consulate, Chicago
• Long Haiming, Vice Dean, College of Finance, Hunan University
• Zuo Quanwen, Director, Division of International Programs, Hunan University
• Five additional representatives from the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Beijing