Europe’s first Confucius Institute focused on publishing to launch at Oxford Brookes University

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Official signing of the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University

The latest chapter in the growing relationship between China and the UK will see the opening of the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University.

An event is to be held this week (Saturday 24 October) to officially launch the new educational facility which will begin teaching from January 2016.                                             

This is a particularly exciting development for Oxford Brookes. It will allow us to promote an understanding of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilisations and the biggest, most diverse, fast-changing countries

Paul Inman, Pro Vice Chancellor

Staff from the University will be joined by representatives from China and members of Brookes Union’s Chinese Students & Scholars Association.

Taking place in the award-winning Abercrombie Building on Oxford Brookes’ Headington Campus, attendees will also have the opportunity to visit a special exhibition which will tie in with the launch.   

Wisdom from the East will feature hand painted calligraphy works on paper from China and will remain on display until Friday 13 November.

Confucius Institutes are non-profit collaborations which aim to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges. 

The Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University will uniquely concentrate on publishing - an area which enjoys an international reputation both at the University and across the city of Oxford. 

Hanban, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, gave approval in February for the establishment of a Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes in partnership with the Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP) at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

FLTRP is the largest English language teaching publisher and university press in China, ranking third in sales turnover among all the publishing houses in China. It publishes in 47 languages with the majority of its publications in English and an increasing number of works in Chinese.

Paul Inman, Pro Vice Chancellor, said: “This is a particularly exciting development for Oxford Brookes. It will allow us to promote an understanding of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilisations and the biggest, most diverse, fast-changing countries. 

“Another benefit will be that the University’s profile will be raised internationally, it will benefit the recruitment of students and improve research and knowledge exchange partnership activity. We look forward to working with FLTRP and Hanban as part of this collaboration.”

Angus Phillips, Head of the School of Arts, added: “The establishment of the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our links with China in a variety of directions. For example, we already have a research collaboration with Peking University and run training programmes for Chinese publishers. 

“Now we can generate a whole new set of connections with partners in China, whether around the study of Chinese language and culture or as a venue for travelling exhibitions. It is fitting for this international collaboration to have a focus on publishing for which Oxford is world renowned.”

Cai Jianfeng, President of FLTRP, said: “FLTRP is exceptionally proud to be joining Oxford Brookes University in the establishment of the Confucius Institute. Oxford Brookes University offers world-class education on publishing and FLTRP is a leading educational publisher in China. The Confucius Institute co-managed by the two organisations is sure to bring our respective advantages into full play. 

“Located on the campus of Oxford Brookes University, the new Institute will provide professional Chinese Language Teaching training and services for the people in the Oxford area, design and publish books on Chinese themes and organise cultural exchange programs.”

An official signing with representatives from the partners involved in setting up the Confucius Institute took place earlier this month (19 September 2015).

There are 495 Confucius Institutes throughout the world, usually based on partnerships between two or more higher education institutions. There are only 29 Confucius Institutes in the UK and universities with institutes include Cardiff, Glasgow, the London School of Economics, Nottingham, and the School of Oriental and African Studies.