HONOLULU — A delegation from the Education Ministry of the People‘s Republic of China and the president of a major Chinese university joined senior University of Hawaiʻi administrators and Governor Lingle today for the announcement that UH Mānoa will be home to one of just 11 Confucius Institutes in the United States.
"In so many ways, UH Mānoa is the perfect place for a Confucius Institute," said Chancellor Denise Konan. "We have a long tradition of excellence in areas that are central to the objectives of all such Institutes — especially language training, and, of course, Chinese philosophy for which Confucius himself laid the groundwork more than 2,000 years ago."
The delegation from the PRC was joined by President Hao Ping of Beijing Foreign Studies University — Mānoa‘s partner in the enterprise, and the institution that traditionally trains members of China's diplomatic corps. President Hao Ping is a UH Mānoa alumnus.
Support for the Confucius Institute comes through the National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language of the Chinese Ministry of Education. There are 100 Confucius Institutes being established worldwide, including 11 in the U.S. When fully operational, the institute will respond to local and national needs in promoting education about Chinese language and culture, including:
Developing a Chinese language teacher certification program, in collaboration with the UHM departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Second Language Studies, and the UH College of Education.
Developing an articulated, online Chinese language curriculum for students grades K-12, in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi‘s National Foreign Language Resource Center.
Developing innovative language learning opportunities for populations that are not currently being served, including a summer language immersion sports camp, weekend classes, and online lessons for executives.
Bringing the resources of the Center for Chinese Studies faculty and students to the business, government and general communities through lectures and other presentations.
Supporting Hawaiʻi‘s film resources, including the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, the film program at the Doris Duke Academy, and the university‘s own Academy for Creative Media, in promoting Chinese films and documentaries.
Developing an online resource base to link Hawaiʻi, the U.S. Mainland, the PRC and other Chinese communities elsewhere, in promoting education about Chinese language and culture.