University establishes Confucius Institute, increases international presence
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has signed an agreement with Hanban, which is the worldwide headquarters of Confucius Institutes and affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.
The Confucius Institute at Kansas State University will be the 102nd Confucius Institute in the U.S. and the second institute in Kansas. Confucius Institutes promote, enhance and elevate understanding of the Chinese language and culture, as well as create exchanges between Chinese and U.S. academic institutions and communities. The institute at Kansas State University also plans to focus on promoting research collaborations in animal health and food safety.
"As part of K-State's 2025 strategic plan, our overarching goal is to infuse internationalization in all we do to ensure that K-State students, faculty and staff are prepared to live, learn and work in the global community," said April Mason, provost and senior vice president. "This partnership ties in nicely with K-State's global aspirations."
Each Confucius Institute creates a partnership with a Chinese university to further China-U.S. related initiatives at the academic level. Kansas State University's Chinese partner university is Jilin University, which is a leading national research university in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin Province in northeast China.
"The Confucius Institute builds on existing academic partnerships between Kansas State University and China," said Jishu Shi, special assistant to the provost for China affairs and professor of anatomy and physiology. "For the past 10 years, Jilin University and Kansas State University have established close relationships of cooperation and conducted extensive academic exchange activities in the areas of arts, engineering, agriculture and veterinary medicine."
Jilin University is known for excellent teaching and research programs in automobile engineering, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, biology, law, Chinese literature, arts, history, Northeast Asian Studies, philosophy, medicine and veterinary science, Shi said.
The Confucius Institute will be on the second floor of the Wildcat Landing building at 1800 Claflin Road, adjacent to the International Technology Commons. The Confucius Institute also will engage faculty and students at the university's Salina and Olathe campuses as well as the Manhattan community and the greater Manhattan business community.
A grand opening ceremony is planned for early spring 2015, when a delegation of Chinese dignitaries will attend, visit the Manhattan campus and community, and meet with regional business, education and government officials. During the visit the university plans to offer Chinese cultural activities and showcase its past associations with Jilin University and China.
Several university administrators traveled to China in June and signed Kansas State University's Confucius Institute contract. The administrators included Mason; Shi; Kristine Young, assistant provost of international programs; Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; and Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
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