The Confucius Institute at Soonchunhyang University in Korea is an excellent representative of TFSU’s Confucius Institutes overseas and has been awarded the title of “Excellent Confucius Institute around the Globe" twice by Hanban. Since its founding in September of 2007, it has maintained good momentum of development with strong support from Hanban and leaders at the two universities. In operation and management, this Confucius Institute has persisted in innovation, seeking more channels of cooperation and exploring ways of linking government authorities, enterprises, and high schools with the Confucius Institute. Therefore, in the second year after its launch, this Confucius Institute has exercised independent management and assumed sole responsibility for profits and losses. More importantly, the establishment of the Confucius Institute has played a crucial role in promoting Chinese language education and exerting a measure of influence abroad. The development of this Confucius Institute has also greatly enhanced international exchange and cooperation between the two universities.
In the 2010 academic year, a total of 130 Chinese language classes were opened, with class hours totaling 4,576 per year. The number of regular students reached 2,267, totaling 9,330 monthly and 4,534 quarterly.
Through a variety of cultural activities, the Confucius Institute at Soonchunhyang University has gradually created its own brand. Cultural exchanges, such as Chinese folk music and Chinese Opera, Chinese seal culture, Chinese cuisine and tea, trivia, martial arts, and Chinese drama festivals, have been warmly welcomed by teachers and students. Programs like summer camps and summer explorations of Chinese culture have also provided foreign students with the opportunity to visit and personally experience Chinese culture.
2. Distinguishing features
1）By taking part in curricula education and cooperating with local Chinese language educational institutes, the Confucius Institute in Soonchunhyang University has brought about a win-win situation.
The Confucius Institute has cooperated with Soonchunhyang University on a Global Business School (GBS) project, undertaking the Chinese education part of the double-degree program. Thus, nearly one hundred students will graduate every year with double degrees in Chinese language and business. By involving itself directly into curricula education, the Confucius Institute in Soonchunhyang University has formally joined with the higher education of Korea.
2）Cooperation between Government Authorities and the Confucius Institute
In April 2008, the Confucius Institute signed an official agreement with the Education Department of Asan city to provide after-school Chinese language teaching for students in the local primary and middle schools. Currently, the number of schools participating has increased from the initial five to ten, accounting for 24% of Asan’s 42 schools. In 2010, the number of primary and middle school students who received after-school Chinese language education reached 615.
3）Cooperation between Enterprises and the Confucius Institute
The Confucius Institute has also been actively seeking opportunities to cooperate with local enterprises. In 2010, it tailored Chinese language courses for Hanil Eehwa Automobile Parts Company. It also cooperated with the cultural center of New World Department Store to offer six lectures for the general public on Appreciating Chinese Culture: the Wisdom of the East to help people understand traditional Chinese culture.
4）Cooperation between High Schools and the Confucius Institute
As more people learn Chinese, the Confucius Institute also promotes Chinese language teaching in both universities and high schools. It has established long-term cooperative relationships with Chungnam Foreign Language High School and other schools, stationing resident teachers there.