The Centre for Language Education and Cooperation and the Chinese International Education Foundation have been officially announced on 5th July 2020.
It has been a critical period for the development of Confucius Institutes – the growing need for providing Chinese language education across the world has put forward the demand on new levels of resources and high-quality Chinese language courses. In response to this demand, people from all walks of life, including many principals of partner universities, directors of Confucius Institutes, and other colleagues from China and abroad, have proposed forming a foundation that would support Confucius Institutes worldwide. During the 2019 International Chinese Language Education Conference, a general consensus was reached to advance this proposal. Several Confucius Institute partner universities with rich experience in educational exchange, such as Peking University, Fudan University, and Beijing Language and Culture University, together with a number of corporations and social organisations in China, have jointly initiated the formation of The Chinese International Education Foundation, a non-governmental foundation that will assume the cooperation and support of Confucius Institutes worldwide.
The Confucius Institute Headquarters together with partners and colleagues from around the globe has successfully incubated a world-renowned language education brand—the Confucius Institutes—and laid the groundwork for a non-governmental way of operating these university programmes with university partners from many countries. The Headquarters and the founding institutions of the new Foundation have agreed to transfer to the Foundation the operation of the brands of Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom. Once the Foundation is established, the Foundation will contact host and partner universities of Confucius Institutes to begin the transition. Once the transition is substantially complete, the Headquarters will be deregistered. Separately, the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) will be established to provide support for other Chinese language education programmes such as assistance with Chinese language majors at applicable colleges and universities, the build-out of Chinese language learning and testing centres, and the conduct of international language education and cooperation programmes.
The Foundation will be a non-governmental international educational charitable organisation registered in China with the support and membership of Chinese universities, corporations, and social organisations. The Foundation will expand and diversify resources, and improve the professional teaching services, to support and serve the Confucius Institutes. With support from the Foundation, university-to-university partnerships will serve as the developmental vehicle for Confucius Institute programmes as run by the partner universities. Chinese universities will provide the teaching, personnel resources and operational funding necessary to ensure that the support for and investment in Confucius Institutes remains undiminished.