Wake Tech Establishes “Confucius Classroom”
October 17th, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. (October 17, 2014) - Wake Tech students have a new resource to prepare for careers in the global economy. The college held a grand opening celebration for its new Confucius Classroom today. The Confucius Classroom is a collaborative initiative with NC State University’s Confucius Institute (NCSU-CI), and Nanjing Normal University and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China. It will provide more options for classes in the Chinese language as well as out-of-class activities to enhance students’ understanding of Chinese culture.
“North Carolina has strong ties with China,” says Wake Tech’s Foreign Language department head Melania Aguirre-Rabon. “It’s important to offer these options to students because there’s a good chance they’ll ending up dealing with that country in business, medicine, real estate, technology, or whatever field they’re in when they graduate.”
“China will soon be the world’s largest economy,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott. “Our relationship with them will be a win-win for both countries.”
A bronze plaque was unveiled at the event today at Wake Tech’s Northern Wake Campus. The celebration featured Chinese musical performances and a reception. Special guests included Jim Fain, Former Commerce Secretary and Interim Director of UNC’s Center for International Understanding, and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. “This is huge for our entire state!” said Marshall.
Wake Tech’s Confucius Classroom is the result of efforts initiated by China in 2004, when Confucius Institutes were created across the globe. Currently there are 443 Confucius Institutes across Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Oceania. These non-profit institutions are a response to increased demand for the study of Chinese, caused by the rapid economic growth of China in the world. The main goal is to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries.
North Carolina State University, in collaboration with Nanjing Normal University, established the first Confucius Institute (NCSU-CI) in the southeastern United States in 2007. In addition to Wake Tech, NCSU-CI has also created Confucius Classrooms at Central Carolina Community College, Saint Augustine’s University, and Enloe High School. This allows these schools to receive financial aid and support from the Confucius Institute Headquarters and NCSU-CI.