PITTSBURGH—The Chinese Ministry of Education’s Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) named the Asian Studies Center’s Confucius Institute (CI-Pitt) at the University of Pittsburgh one of 30 Confucius Institutes of the Year during the organization’s annual conference, which was held in Beijing in December. Pitt is one of five North American institutes to receive the honor. This is the second time CI-Pitt has been recognized as one of the top Confucius Institutes since it was founded in May 2007.
CI-Pitt was the first Confucius Institute in Pennsylvania and is the largest Hanban-sponsored volunteer teacher program in the United States. Since its inception, CI-Pitt has experienced rapid growth—expanding from two to 24 Chinese teachers, from three to 57 partner schools, and from 49 to about 2,100 students. In the past year alone, participation has increased 80 percent.
Initiated by the State Council of China in 1987, the Confucius Institutes are a joint effort of 12 national-level ministries and commissions in China. Confucius Institutes promote and enhance the understanding of Chinese language and culture worldwide. The first Confucius Institute was established in Seoul, Korea, in 2004. There are 330 Confucius Institutes worldwide.