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Global Connections

CSU's Confucius Institute dedicated Friday

April 15, 2013

High-ranking Chinese officials and CSU's leadership team dedicated a new Confucius Institute on campus Friday with some laughter and colorful fanfare courtesy of students in the Chinese Club.

CSU and Chinese officials dedicate the CSU Confucius Institute on Friday.Vice Minister XU Lin, the director of more than 400 Confucius Institutes around the world, remarked the house at CSU was "the best" she had seen among all the institutes she had ever visited. She also generated some laughter after pointing out that no other university worldwide with a Confucius Institute shares the green and gold colors of Hanban, otherwise known as the Office of Chinese Language Council International where the Confucius Institutes are based.

"You already decided on the colors more than 100 years ago and for Confucius Institute, eight years ago. And we never called you," Lin said laughing at the formal dedication ceremony.

CSU’s Confucius Institute is 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. Also attending the ceremony Friday were CSU System Chancellor Michael Martin, President Tony Frank and Provost Rick Miranda. Chinese Club students also participated in the ceremonies with a colorful dragon and drums.

Frank acknowledged several trips he and other university administrators have taken in recent years to form partnerships with Chinese universities. The Confucius Institue "is, in many ways. the culmination of all of those partnerships that we stand here today," he said. 

Historic visit

“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.”

Chinese Vice Minister Xu Lin shows off the green and gold logo associated with Hanban, which is where the Chinese host all Confucius Institutes.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 Language Council International (Hanban), a non-profit organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Hanban hopes to open 1,000 institutes by 2020.

A boom to CSU, community

“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.

Growing Chinese presence

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.