Confucius Institute, a non-profit education network, devotes itself to satisfying the demands of people from different countries and regions in the world who learn the Chinese language, to enhancing understanding of the Chinese language and culture by these peoples, to strengthening educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries, to deepening friendly relationships with other nations, to promoting the development of multi-culturalism, and to constructing a harmonious world. The headquarters of Confucius Institutes is in Beijing, under the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban).
The Confucius Institute takes its name from Confucius or Kongzi (551—479 BC), an ancient Chinese thinker and philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese and Asian peoples’ thought and life. His teachings may be found in the Analects of Confucius (論語), a collection of "brief aphoristic fragments", which was compiled many years after his death.
Confucius emphasised the importance of moral education and of making ethics the foundation of good government. He taught that an ideal society could be achieved through education and moral persuasion, as opposed to relying on the laws, regulations, and penal codes that were apparently gaining ground in his day. Confucius recognised the value of the family and kinship relations, friendship, and respect for elders and teachers. Though he is thought to have lived in troubled times marked by social strife and power struggles among competing rulers, Confucius advocated mutual tolerance and harmony in running a state as well as the importance of community rituals for achieving social harmony.
Confucius Institute at University of Canterbury (CIUC)
The Confucius Institute at University of Canterbury is part of the global CI network jointly established by Hanban (Beijing), University of Canterbury (Christchurch) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan). It was officially launched on the 1st of November 2009 by Chinese vice Premier Li Keqiang. It was the second Confucius Institute established in New Zealand and the first in the South Island of New Zealand. It is, as the vice premier Li Keqiang noted, another achievement of cultural and educational exchanges between China and New Zealand.
After six months of preparation and construction, on the 27th of May 2010, a well-designed and nicely-decorated CI premises opened to the public. Unfortunately, these premises were damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes, but they have been refurbished, and are once again open to the public.
The Confucius Institute at University of Canterbury aims to enhance communication, understanding and friendship between Chinese people and New Zealanders via Chinese language teaching, cultural study and economic exchange.
The Confucius Institute will serve as a learning centre, offering a variety of credit and non-credit courses and programs, and hosting various Chinese Proficiency tests, such as HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test), YCT (Young Learns Chinese Test) and BCT (Business Chinese Test); a resource base, providing all kinds of informative resources and consultative services; an exchange platform, facilitating cultural, academic and economic communications between China and New Zealand.
Today, CIUC continues to work in the South Island, providing the services that we were set up to provide. We now have more teachers and Mandarin Language Assistants (MLAs), giving us the ability to reach more students. There are now 42 MLAs and three teachers working around the South Island of New Zealand.