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A signing ceremony to mark the award was held on March 23. When the Institute opens, the focus will be the development of credit bearing language and culture programmes for students in all faculties and for staff. Programmes will also be offered to the local community, schools and businesses.
Lancaster will become the 14th Institute in the UK to receive the award, along with the University of Manchester, London School of Economics and University of Edinburgh. The Institute is awarded jointly to Lancaster and its partner, the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou.
Confucius Institutes were founded in 2004 and are non-profit public institutions that aim to promote Chinese language and culture and support local Chinese teaching internationally. The headquarters are based in Beijing under the Office of Chinese Language Council International known colloquially as Hanban.
According to their mission statement, “Hanban is committed to developing Chinese language and culture teaching resources and making its services available worldwide, meeting the demands of overseas Chinese learners to the utmost degree, and to contributing to global cultural diversity and harmony.”