Home > About the Confucius Institute
The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota (CIUMN) was created to promote the study of Chinese language and culture throughout Minnesota. It is a collaborative initiative between the University of Minnesota, the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, and Capital Normal University in Beijing. CIUMN is one of 67 Confucius Institutes in the U.S. and nearly 400 worldwide. Confucius Institutes are named for the Chinese philosopher known for encouraging deep independent thought and the study of the outside world.
As a part of the University’s Outreach Mission, CIUMN utilizes the extensive resources at the University and in the state to serve Minnesota communities statewide by delivering educational programs that connect them to Chinese language and culture in meaningful ways. Programming includes cultural and language training for the business community, professional development training and support for Chinese language teachers, and language and cultural programming for the general public throughout the year.
The University has a long and respected history of exchange with China beginning in 1914 with the enrollment of the first Chinese students at the University. Minnesota’s K-12 system has a number of Chinese language programs that have been in place for almost 30 years. In 2005, after an unprecedented China Mission, Governor Tim Pawlenty urged Minnesota to make learning Chinese a statewide priority. Today, Minnesota is the only state that is home to five Chinese language immersion schools and K-12 Chinese language enrollment has risen 164% in the past six years. Learn more about Minnesota Chinese language initiatives.
An advisory board of distinguished leaders from higher education, the K-12 system, and Minnesota government agencies oversee the Confucius Institute and recommends annual project and budget plans. The governing board, which includes representatives of University Departments, the East Asian Library and the Minnesota Department of Education gives advice to the Confucius Institute director regarding program content and Chinese language instruction. The University-appointed director manages the general operations and execution of the Confucius Institute business. Learn more about the CIUMN Governing Board and Advisory Boards.
Annual reports for the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota are available in PDF format: