As China's economy and exchanges with the world have seen rapid growth, there has also been a sharp increase in the world's demands for Chinese learning. Benefiting from the UK, France, Germany and Spain's experience in promoting their national languages, China began its own exploration through establishing non-profit public institutions which aim to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries in 2004: these were given the name the Confucius Institute.
Over recent years, the Confucius Institutes' development has been sharp and they have provided scope for people all over the world to learn about Chinese language and culture. In addition they have become a platform for cultural exchanges between China and the world as well as a bridge reinforcing friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the world and are much welcomed across the globe. Through the joint efforts of China and the Confucius Institute host countries in addition to the enthusiasm and active support of people all over the world, by the end of 2010, there have been 322 Confucius Institutes and 369 Confucius Classrooms established in 96 countries. In addition, some 250 institutions from over 50 countries have expressed requirements for establishing Confucius Institutes/Classrooms, amongst them some of the world's top universities.
Confucius Institutes/Classrooms adopt flexible teaching patterns and adapt to suit local conditions when teaching Chinese language and promoting culture in foreign primary schools, secondary schools, communities and enterprises. In 2009, Confucius Institutes/Classrooms around the world offered 9,000 Chinese courses of a multitude of styles, with a total enrollment of 260,000, a 130,000 strong enrollment increase from the previous year. More than 7,500 cultural exchange activities took place, involving the participation of over 3 million reaching double the participation figures of the corresponding period of the previous year
截至2010年10月，各国已建立322所孔子学院和369个孔子课堂，共计691所，分布在96个国家(地区)。孔子学院设在91国(地区)共 322所，其中，亚洲30国(地区)81所，非洲16国21所，欧洲31国105所，美洲12国103所，大洋洲2国12所。孔子课堂设在34国共369 个(缅甸、马里、巴哈马、突尼斯、坦桑尼亚只有课堂，没有学院)，其中，亚洲11国31个，非洲5国5个，欧洲10国82个，美洲6国240个，大洋洲2 国11个。
Introduction extracted from Confucius Institute Online
Confucius (Master Kong)
Confucius (traditionally 28 September 551 BC – 479 BC), was a well known Chinese thinker, educator, and social philosopher of the late Spring and Autumn Period. Confucius is a representative of sprite of generosity and wisdom in education. 孔子（前551年9月28日－前479年4月11日)，中国春秋末期的思想家,教育家和哲学家，是儒家的创始人。孔子是中国传统教育精神的体现，也是为师者的先驱和典范。