The UCLA Confucius Institute is building upon an impressive array of education and community resources. We are making connections between existing organizations, developing new initiatives, and serving as a link to the diverse communities of Southern California and the world. The UCLA Confucius Institute (UCLA CI) was founded through a partnership between UCLA, the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Our mission is to promote the teaching and learning of Chinese language, history, and culture throughout Southern California.
WHO WE ARE
There are over 500 Confucius institute located around the world. Each is unique in respect to its work, mission and governance structure. Based in the School of the Arts and Architecture, UCLA’s Confucius Institute focuses primarily on the arts, and the training of K-12 Mandarin-language teachers in partnership with the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSEIS) and the State of California’s World Language Project. We also offer study abroad and intern opportunities in China.
In this respect, the expertise, training and programs provided by UCLA’s Confucius Institute are helpful in meeting the demand from students and the public who want to become proficient in Chinese language and develop cultural knowledge. This is especially important in Los Angeles, which is home to the largest Chinese immigrant community in the United States, and also in a global economy where knowledge of Chinese language and culture can offer professional and creative opportunities. In addition, as a public university with a global reach, these programs align with UCLA’s mission of research, education and public service.
An important part of the Confucius Institute's work is helping to prepare highly-qualified Mandarin teachers for California K-12 public schools. The lead faculty for our training program, the Mandarin Teacher Leadership Institute, is Maggie Chen. A Taiwan-native, Ms. Chen is the lead Mandarin teacher at the UCLA Geffen Academy, a lecturer for UCLA's Bilingual Authorization Program for Mandarin in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSEIS), a teacher trainer for the California World Language Project. The UCLA Confucius Institute does not provide teaching materials for K-12 classrooms nor does it advise teachers what to teach.
Everything the UCLA Confucius Institute does — training local teachers and offering programs for artists — is done in collaboration with UCLA and community partners. The executive director of the Institute is Susan Pertel Jain, who holds a Ph.D. in Asian theater from the University of Hawai'i and who has studied and worked in China and Taiwan since the late 1970s. The board of directors is chaired by UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh and includes Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of GSEIS, David Schaberg, dean of the Division of Humanities and Brett Steele, dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture, and Teri Schwartz, dean of the School of Theater, Film, and Television, among others. The board also includes administrators from Shanghai Jiao Tong University — often called the MIT of Shanghai — which is UCLA’s partner institution for the Confucius Institute.
The agreement between UCLA’s Confucius Institute and Hanban was signed in 2006, and was extended in 2013 via a letter from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Waugh that allowed it to continue its work under the terms stipulated in the original agreement. These documents are posted at the institute’s site under “Agreements.” The UCLA Confucius Institute is expected to continue operating under the terms of the original agreement.