What is the Confucius Institute?

The Confucius Institute Project is an initiative of the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Hanban), an agency of the Chinese Ministry of Education, aimed at enhancing understanding of the Chinese language and culture around the world and supporting learners of Chinese. Initially, Hanban has a current goal of establishing 500 institutes worldwide.

The first Confucius Institute was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004. Since then, there has been a rapid growth both in terms of number and geographic scope. Currently, there are 226 institutes in 66 countries, 42 of them in the United States, with most of these based at universities, including institutions such as UCLA, Purdue, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Michigan State. The Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University is one of two in Texas, the other being at University of Texas in Dallas.

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