University of Saskatchewan celebrates opening of Confucius Institute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-June 18, 2012 2012-06-13-AR Saskatoon - The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is joining more than 350 other universities worldwide in establishing a Confucius Institute (CI), an educational centre offering non-credit courses on Chinese language and culture for the on-campus community and general public.

At the grand opening ceremony for the CI, June 18, dignitaries from the U of S, Chinese Embassy and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) — the U of S's partner university for the Confucius Institute — were in attendance. The U of S partnership with BIT on this project continues a long history of collaborations between the two universities, developed largely on previous student and faculty exchange programs.
"The Confucius Institute represents a major step forward for the University of Saskatchewan in its internationalization objectives, as well as outreach and engagement goals outlined in our third integrated plan," said Li Zong, co-director of the Confucius Institute at the U of S and professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Science. "The centre will help our students, faculty and the citizens of Saskatoon prepare to function in a rapidly-evolving global society."
In addition to the non-credit language and cultural courses the Confucius Institute will offer at the U of S, a partnership was also established between the CI and the Saskatoon Public School Division (SPSD). Through this agreement, SPSD students will visit the Confucius Institute on campus and instructors will also visit SPSD classrooms, reaching more than 20,000 local elementary and high school students.
The Confucius Institute will also serve as a meeting place for the university's Chinese students, faculty and community groups within Saskatoon. In the fall term of 2011, more than 700 Chinese students were enrolled at the U of S, comprising more than 50 per cent of our undergraduate international students and 20 per cent of our international graduate students.
The CI will begin offering language and cultural courses this coming September.
For more information, contact:
Kirk Sibbald, Communications Officer
College of Arts & Science
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-1982

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