The University of Macau (UM) recently received approval from the Office of Chinese Language Council International to establish a Confucius Institute. The institute is expected to become operational in early 2018.
According to a statement issued by the UM yesterday, the move is “a response to the Macau SAR government’s effort to participate in China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative and to develop Macau into an international platform for Chinese language education, for overseas countries, and in particular Portuguese-speaking countries.
UM Rector Wei Zhao and Faculty of Arts and Humanities’ (FAH) Dean Hong Gang Jin recently attended the 12th Confucius Institute Assembly held in Xi’an. At the opening ceremony, Zhao and Jin received a plaque inscribed with ‘Confucius Institute’ from Liu Yandong, vice premier of the State Council and council chair of the headquarters of the Confucius Institute.
UM’s Confucius Institute, which will be under the FAH, will be located on the ground floor of E34 and is currently in the design and construction process. UM will establish a temporary office in early 2018 to carry out the work plan of the institute. FAH’s Dean, Jin, and Associate Dean Shi Jianguo will serve as the director and deputy director of the institute, respectively.
According to the UM statement, “the institute will make good use of Macau’s unique status as a special administrative region, its advantageous geographic location, as well as its cultural and linguistic diversity to develop into an international platform for Chinese language teaching, training, and exchange for students from Portuguese-
speaking countries and countries with relations with Macau.”
Courses in Chinese as a foreign language, offered by the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, will make up the core of the programs offered by the institute. In addition, teaching and research resources both inside and outside the university will be integrated, for example, the Department of Portuguese, also within the FAH, will be involved. The institute will carry out various training and research activities, cultural exchange activities, as well as Chinese language proficiency examinations.
The Confucius Institute is an important platform to promote the study the Chinese language. 525 branches have been established in 146 countries and regions since 2004, when the first Confucius Institute was founded.