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Impact

The following description of the Confucius Institute’s impact is excerpted from a case statement about the Confucius Institute prepared by the University at Buffalo in March 2018.

In 2009, the University at Buffalo (UB), in conjunction with its long-time partner in Beijing, Capital Normal University, submitted a successful application to the Office of Chinese Language Council International (aka Hanban), an agency of China’s Ministry of Education, to establish a Confucius Institute at UB. The purpose of the Confucius Institute is to provide teachers, funding, and other resources to develop Chinese language and culture programs in local schools and to support teaching and research about China at UB.

Each year, more than 4,000 Western New York students from kindergarten through graduate school study Chinese language in programs taught by Confucius Institute teachers or supported with Confucius Institute funds. These students—most of whom would have no other opportunity to study Chinese—learn critical language skills while also exploring Chinese visual and performing arts, history, geography, philosophy and other significant aspects of Chinese culture.

The Confucius Institute helps develop Chinese language programs primarily by arranging for experienced language teachers from China to teach in local K-12 schools and at UB. Additionally, the Confucius Institute provides annual funding to support Chinese language education at four designated Confucius Classrooms at City Honors School in Buffalo, East Aurora High School, the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, and Elmwood Franklin School.

Beyond the language classroom, the Confucius Institute co-sponsors conferences, symposia, workshops and lectures at UB in a wide variety of disciplines, including history, philosophy, geography, economics, education, architecture, urban planning, medicine and public health. The Confucius Institute organizes cultural performances for International Education Week, Chinese New Year, and other Chinese holidays that entertain and educate thousands of people each year. The Institute also provides scholarships for students at UB and local schools to study in China and organizes study tours for local school administrators to interact with their colleagues in China, learn more about Chinese education, and establish partnerships between U.S. and Chinese schools.

The UB Confucius Institute was proud to receive “Confucius Institute of the Year” honors at the 2016 Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China, due to its excellent program of Chinese language teaching, cultural performances and academic activity about China.

Academic and artistic merit are the primary factors guiding the Confucius Institute’s decision to fund a particular project. All Confucius Institute teachers at UB and in local schools enjoy the same rights and privileges as their American colleagues, and all Confucius Institute activities involving UB courses, curricula, faculty and staff are subject to UB and SUNY academic and administrative policies.

The University at Buffalo is proud to support the work of its Confucius Institute as a way to enhance education about Chinese language and culture at the university, provide a critical service to schools that otherwise would not have funding to develop Chinese language programs, and enrich the cultural and intellectual life of the university and of the Western New York community.