Pitt’s Confucius Institute Wins Top Award

Issue Date: 
February 1, 2016

The Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh has been honored as an Outstanding Global Confucius Institute of the Year, an award given annually to only a select few institutes among the more than 510 worldwide.

This is the fourth time Pitt’s Confucius Institute has garnered the accolade for excellence in teaching the Mandarin language and Chinese culture to students from kindergarten to college. The award, given by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), was recently presented to a Pitt representative by Madame Liu Yandong, vice premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, during a Conference of Confucius Institutes held in Shanghai.

“Pitt has created an extremely successful model that is replicated across the United States and around the world,” said Albert J. Novak Jr., vice chancellor for institutional advancement and institute board chair, who accepted the honor. He added that, in her remarks, the vice premier said she was impressed by the “context-based in-class teacher-student interactions” she observed when she visited the Pitt Confucius Institute last year.

Established in 2007, Pitt’s Confucius Institute was one of the original 25 institutes developed as part of the global Confucius Institute program. Its mission is to provide Chinese language education, and it does so by training and overseeing 37 visiting instructors through satellite programs and Confucius Classrooms. These classrooms are located at Winchester Thurston School, Upper St. Clair School District, A. W. Beattie Career Center, St. Vincent College, Dickinson College, Berks County Intermediate Unit, and elsewhere throughout Pennsylvania as well as in parts of Ohio and New York.

Demand for skills in Chinese language is rising. Through in-person and distance-learning technology, Pitt’s Confucius Institute reaches 5,087 students from kindergarten to college in 22 counties. Also last year, more than 37,000 people attended institute-sponsored cultural events including Chinese musical performances, theater, and academic lectures.

The University’s Confucius Institute is part of Pitt’s University Center for International Studies.