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September 13, 2007

Asian studies to house Confucius Institute

The Chinese Ministry of Education has named Pitt’s Asian Studies Center as the first Confucius Institute in Pennsylvania. Confucius institutes comprise a network of international initiatives developed by the ministry’s Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), and are dedicated to enhancing the understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

The Confucius Institute at Pitt (CI-PITT) is a cooperative project with Hanban and Wuhan University in China. There are 144 Confucius institutes worldwide, with 22 institutes in the United States.

The Confucius Institute at Pitt will offer community-based Chinese language instruction, provide Chinese classes to high schools in the western Pennsylvania region through classroom instruction and interactive distance learning, support the training and professional development of Chinese language teachers and promote outreach programs on Chinese culture.

CI-PITT also plans to develop a corporate language and cultural training program for local companies that are developing business partnerships in China.

Siddharth Chandra and Wenfang Tang will be co-directors of CI-PITT, and Jiangbin Lu will be the director at Wuhan University.

CI-PITT will work with other academic departments within the University and with a variety of public and private entities to develop services for communities, businesses, schools, government, non-profit organizations and the public in the region.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 40 Issue 2

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