Recognizing the growth of economic opportunity in China, West Virginia University today (Aug. 12) opened the Confucius Institute for Business West Virginia to provide opportunities in the areas of Chinese language, culture and business.
There are more than 400 Confucius Institutes in the world, 97 in the United States including nearby at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Maryland, as well as the University of Oklahoma in the Big 12 athletic conference.
The Confucius Institute will be housed in the WVU College of Business and Economics.
“The strategy for the Institute fulfills our land-grant mission to the citizens of West Virginia and complements our University’s already strong international focus and partnerships with China,” President Gordon Gee said.
“As a University, we must expand the tool kit we provide our students,” he said. “We must prepare them to construct a global view. And this is where the Confucius Institute comes into play.
Gee joined several university representatives in welcoming the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, with whom WVU partnered to create the Confucius Institute. Chinese dignitaries included Tianjin University President Dr. Wei’an Li, as well as representatives of Hanaban, the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing.
“The primary mission of the Confucius Institute is to promote mutual understanding between the people of West Virginia and the people of China,” interim B&E Dean Nancy McIntyre said. “We’re going to facilitate certificate programs for Chinese language teachers in West Virginia. It’s our plan to help make possible professional development programs to train West Virginia teachers at the middle school and high school levels to teach Chinese as a second language. For teachers and students alike in West Virginia, that’s a huge opportunity.”
“The fast development of globalization requires us to further mutual understanding, deepen our friendship, and to strengthen the exchange and dialogue among countries and peoples,” Dr. Wei’an Li, President, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics said. “This has already been a trend of modern times. Against this background, the establishment of the (Confucius Institute for Business West Virginia) is a crucial step to further mutual understanding, strengthen our friendship and to stimulus the cultural exchange and communication between our two countries.”
WVU finance professor Victor Chow, who will lead the Institute, said, “The Institute will also develop business Chinese language programs and promote commerce between West Virginia and China. And we’re going to organize two-week study abroad programs for West Virginia teachers. These teachers from across our state will get a first-hand look at Chinese culture and language, and then come back to West Virginia to teach what they have experienced. We think that will shed a whole new light on the way they teach.”
David Stewart, WVU’s associate vice president for international student affairs and global services, said the Confucius Institute for Business West Virginia is a non-profit public institute and will function as a centralized resource point to provide a cohesive plan of action for Chinese language and Chinese business education in West Virginia.
“The Institute will prompt professional development programs to train West Virginia teachers at the middle school and high school levels to teach Chinese as a second language,” Stewart said. “Our mission for the Institute is to promote a mutual understanding between the people of West Virginia and the people of China.”
CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics
firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.293.5131
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