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Chinese Language and Culture: Confucius Institute at Heidelberg University

Press Release No. 1/2009
24 07 2009
Support from Chinese government—Partner institution is the Jiao Tong University of Shanghai
With the support of the Chinese government a Confucius Institute for the promotion of Chinese language and culture abroad is to be set up at Heidelberg University. The Rector of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, has signed an agreement to this effect with the Office of Chinese Language International (Hanban). The new institution is designed to further academic and practical cooperation and to enhance intercultural dialogue between Germany and China. Members of Heidelberg University’s Institute of Chinese Studies will be crucially involved in the project. The partner institution on the Chinese side will be the renowned Jiao Tong University of Shanghai.

The Confucius Institutes are modelled on Germany’s Goethe Institutes and have been established in over 80 countries and regions of the world. Heidelberg’s Confucius Institute will be the tenth of its kind in Germany. Apart from the Chinese government, support for the project will come mainly from Heidelberg University and the City of Heidelberg. The municipal authorities will be providing the premises for the new institution. Support has also been promised by external sponsors from business and industry. In the next few weeks a special non-profit organisation will be set up to manage the affairs of the Institute.

While Heidelberg’s Confucius Institute will be offering language courses for the public at large, its main target groups are academics, university and secondary-school students, teachers of Chinese and members of commercial enterprises. Alongside German-Chinese research projects and academic events there will be a major focus on cultural offerings. Partly in conjunction with other institutions there are plans for seminars and conferences on painting, calligraphy, music and literature, as well as courses on traditional Chinese medicine. The Institute will organise networks and perform service functions for the entire Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in collaboration with partners in the Region.

For Internet information on the Confucius Institutes go to

Please address any inquiries to
Heidelberg University
Communications and Marketing
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer

Irene Thewalt
Editor: Email
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