University Confucius Institute to open Friday

Friday marks the opening of the first Confucius Institute in Minnesota, at the University International Center. The institute, which director Joan Brzezinski said was two years in the making will partner with the UniversityâÄôs China Center to work with teachers, students and businesses to make Chinese language and culture more accessible and understandable. K-12 teachers will be able to check out materials from the instituteâÄôs resource library and attend workshops on Chinese in American classrooms. âÄúWeâÄôll work with Chinese language teachers and offer them professional development,âÄù Brzezinski said. âÄúHopefully we can offer school exchanges.âÄù A number of noncredit courses will also be offered to the general public, including family Chinese and Kung Fu, with more to come. Businesses will also benefit from the instituteâÄôs presence on campus. Brzezinski said the China Center already offers cross-cultural seminars, and a business Chinese language class may be possible. University President Bob Bruininks and Minnesota Commissioner of Education Alice Seagren will be present for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday at the International Center. Check Monday’s Daily for more about what the institute will bring to the University community.