The Confucius Institute
The Confucius Institute is a non-profit, public institute with the goal of promoting
Chinese language and culture and supporting local Chinese teaching internationally
through affiliated Confucius Institutes around the globe.
Confucius Institutes are established by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese
as a Foreign Language, headquartered in Beijing.
The University of Memphis is home to the first Confucius Institute in the state of
Tennessee and the first in the Mid-South.
In conjunction with its partner institution, Hubei University in China, the Confucius
Institute at the University of Memphis promotes understanding of the Chinese language
and culture among the people of the United States, develops friendly relations between
the U. S. and China, accelerates the expansion of multiculturalism, and provides opportunities
for students studying the Chinese language.
The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis will occupy the entire 11th floor
of Wilder Tower beginning in early 2009. A statue of Confucius, designed by a local
artist, will greet visitors to the Institute.
The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis is closely affiliated with the
University’s new Asian Studies and International Trade program, whose aim is to provide
students with the critical combination of skills that an increasing number of companies
seek: international business knowledge, foreign language proficiency, cultural sensitivity
and experience abroad. The program was created by an anonymous $1 million donation
to the University.
The University of Memphis has long participated in educational exchanges with a number
of universities in China, including Hubei University, its partner in the Confucius
A pilot institute was established in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in June 2004. The first
Confucius Institute opened on November 21, 2004 in Seoul, Korea.