Brock has been granted one of only three Confucius Institutes in Ontario. These worldwide institutes promote Chinese language and culture.
The Confucius Institute at Brock University will be housed in the new Norman Road International Centre. The Office of Chinese Language Council International will provide US$150,000 support in start-up funds along with up to US$100,000 in annual project-based funding to support initiatives offered by the institute.
In April 2009, Brock and its partner institution Minjiang University, based in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, submitted a joint application for a Confucius Institute to be located at the Canadian university. Early last month it was announced that the application was successful, thus establishing Canada’s seventh Confucius Institute and one of about 300 such institutes worldwide.
“The Confucius Institute at Brock University will provide opportunities to exchange cultural programming with China and further strengthen our relationship with our partner institution Minjiang University,” said Greg Finn, Associate Vice-President Academic and Vice-Provost.
The main goals of Confucius Institutes are to:
- facilitate Chinese language instruction to people in different countries
- enhance understanding of Chinese language and culture, strengthen educational and cultural collaboration between China and other countries
- deepen friendly relationships with other nations
- promote multiculturalism
- help build a harmonious world.
“In early 2005, we welcomed our first Visiting International Scholar from Minjiang University, Dr. Linbin Zhao, Vice-President Academic, to engage in a joint research project with Dr. Xiaobin Li in the Faculty of Education at Brock,” said Sheila Young, director, Brock International. “Dr. Zhao worked with our office to enter into an institutional partnership with Brock. Since 2005, there has been much exchange and activity between our two institutions and it is very gratifying to see the final result — our joint success in establishing this new institute at Brock.”
“The establishment of a Confucius Institute at Brock is a forward-looking initiative for our university,” said Charles Burton, Brock professor and one of Canada’s foremost experts on Chinese politics. “The institute will facilitate programming for Brock students, faculty and the communities of Niagara and beyond, designed to meet the critical challenge of China’s rise by promoting knowledge and appreciation of Chinese language, culture and society.”
The Confucius Institute at Brock will provide professional development opportunities for Chinese language instructors throughout southern Ontario. It will mean Mandarin language additional qualification courses for certified teachers through the Faculty of Education’s Centre for Continuing Teacher Education Chinese as a Subsequent Language (CSL) classes. It will also provide training for CSL instructors leading to a certificate or diploma.
The Confucius Institute at Brock will also work with community partners such as the St. Catharines’ Chinese Language School and Chinese Cultural Association of Niagara to develop new language and cultural learning and exchange opportunities.
A formal opening for the Confucius Institute at Brock is planned for Fall 2010, and several other cultural and language initiatives will be introduced in its inaugural year.