The OU has today launched the world’s first Online Confucius Institute in partnership with the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). The Online Confucius Institute at The Open University is a non-profit educational partnership between the OU and BFSU which will provide a range of opportunities for students, researchers, teachers and the wider professional community to engage with Chinese language and cultures, develop their intercultural understanding, and advance knowledge.
The OU’s expertise in supported distance education will enable the Online Confucius Institute to deliver courses at scale in Chinese language and cultures, as well as virtual events, research, and outreach workshops in our communities. The Institute’s ambition is that through learning, discussing, debating, and reflecting, new insight and better understanding will be fostered, and barriers are broken down between people in the West and in China.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman said:
“The Online Confucius Institute at the OU will bring together the strengths of both our institutions, reaching and inspiring people from many different backgrounds – who might not otherwise have the opportunity – so they can learn Chinese and explore the fascinating and rich complexity of Chinese cultures.
“We are excited about the opportunities ahead and working together with the prestigious Beijing Foreign Studies University to promote better understanding between the people of China, the UK and beyond.”
President YANG Dan of Beijing Foreign Studies University said in his congratulatory message to the Institute:
“We are witnessing our first Online Confucius Institute. I am convinced that it will widen and deepen the co-operation in language education, and cultural exchange between our two universities and our two countries.”
Dr KAN Qian, UK Director of the Online Confucius Institute at The Open University, said:
“Now more than ever, it is important for people in the West and East to understand one another. I am looking forward to collaborating with Beijing Foreign Studies University on this exciting journey. This is just the first step, as Confucius famously said ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.”
To mark the launch of the Online Confucius Institute, a public lecture was organised after the launch ceremony, which was delivered by Professor Roger T. Ames on the topic of Confucian China in a Changing World Cultural Order. The recording of the lecture will be available from https://confucius-institute.open.ac.uk/
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