Confucius Institute to Strengthen MU's Ties with China
COLUMBIA - MU officials and dignitaries from China will announce the opening of the Confucius Institute on the MU campus Friday. The goal is for MU to strengthen its cultural and business ties with China.
This is the 83rd Confucius Institute in the United States.
Cooperating with Shanghai Normal University, China, MU's Confucius will offer Chinese language courses, cultural appreciation workshops, exhibitions and seminars.
The Institute will also help to improve the state's business and trade relationship with China.
"I think I can make sure that the Missouri citizens will benefit from that relationship and creation of jobs and opportunity," Handy Williamson, Vice Provost for International Programs, said.
The Universtiy of Missouri has deep ties with China, dating back to the early 1900s when journalism schools in China were founded using the Missouri Model.
"My way of looking at it is that this is a signal opportunity for the university to play our role of furthering our already existing relationship by bring in people apart from the School of Journalism but across the state to fully understand the impact of China on global economy and also the role that we can play," Williamson said.
John Mitchell, the MU student from the School of Journalism, said he was expecting the arrival of the Confucius Institute at MU.
"It's sometimes difficult for people to step out of their comfort zone. I think having the Confucius institute on campus allows them to step out of their zone and learn things that I even don't know," Mitchell said.
Headquarted in Beijing, the institute is part of a larger non-profit organization that collaborates with universities all over the world.
There will be a celebration concert Friday morning and an opening ceremony later in Jesse Auditorium.