Oct. 25, 2010
President Stroble and Provost Schuster Attend Pan-Confucius Institute Conference in South Korea
Sign Memorandum of Understanding Encouraging Future Cooperation
Earlier this month, at the invitation of Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and Provost Julian Z. Schuster, along with Deborah Pierce, director of Webster’s Center for International Education; Lui Qiang, deputy director of the Confucius Institute; and Li Fang, Confucius Institute program director; traveled to Daegu, South Korea, to take part in the Pan-Confucius Institute Conference, a meeting of the 15 Confucius Institutes worldwide that are sponsored by BLCU.
At the conference, President Stroble gave a speech about Webster's Confucius Institute activities; Pierce moderated a discussion group about enhancing collaboration among the 15 BLCU-sponsored Confucius Institutes and gave a conference wrap-up speech on progress and plans for the conference participants.
In addition to Webster and BLCU, conference participants included four American institutions – George Mason University, Georgia State University, University of South Carolina and Western Michigan University – and nine international universities: Hokuriku University and Kansai Gaidai University (Japan), Keimyung University (Republic of Korea), Larochelle University (France), Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (Romania), McMaster University (Canada), National University of Modern Languages (Pakistan), Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore (Italy) and University of Sheffield (U.K.).
At the conference conclusion, all participants signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to encourage future cooperation in such areas as the development of collaborative research projects; the exchange of students from one institution to another; the exchange of research and teaching personnel; the organization of joint academic and scientific activities, such as courses, conferences, seminars, symposia and lectures; and the exchange of publications and other materials of common interest.
President Stroble said the overall focus of each Confucius Institute centers on promoting the understanding of Chinese language and culture and fostering friendly relations between China and the world. Individual Confucius Institutes may also have a special focus on topics such as Chinese art, film, theater or economics. As a result of the agreement signed at the Pan-Confucius Institute Conference, Dr. Tan Ye, director of the University of South Carolina's Confucius Institute, will visit Webster this semester to teach classes in Chinese film.
In 2008, Webster received the singular honor of being selected to host Missouri's only Confucius Institute. Housed at Webster's Old Post Office campus in downtown St. Louis, the Confucius Institute today provides translation support and business protocol assistance to the St. Louis China Hub Commission, sponsors Chinese language instruction in 21 classrooms throughout the St. Louis area, provides K-12 educational leadership and teacher development, and provides China Study Scholarships for university students and area K-12 educators.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education, with an international presence that now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.