January 19, 2016

New Jersey City University (NJCU) opened the doors to a Confucius Institute designed to provide education on Chinese language and culture.  The Confucius Institute will enable NJCU to emphasize international opportunities for students and faculty with a partner university in China, Jilin Huaqiao University of Foreign Languages in Jilin Province, one of the largest private universities in China.

The opening ceremony held on November 2, 2015 at NJCU’s main campus, featured visiting government and educational leaders from China as well as educational, political and cultural leaders from New Jersey.

NJCU is one of just two universities in New Jersey selected to host a Confucius Institute; Rutgers is the other.  Approximately 100 universities across the country, which include schools such as Columbia, New York University, University of Michigan, University of Buffalo–SUNY, and Stony Brook University–SUNY, host Confucius Institutes.  Approximately 400 Confucius Institutes exist at universities throughout the world.

An educational partnership agreement, finalized in 2015, was signed by NJCU, Jilin Huaqiao University of Foreign Languages, and the Hanban, an agency within the Ministry of Higher Education of the People’s Republic of China.  The process to apply for and be selected for a Confucius Institute takes several years, and began with a visit by NJCU President Sue Henderson to China.  

In announcing the opening of the Confucius Institute at NJCU, Dr. Henderson said, “The opportunities that will result from this international partnership are valuable for our students, faculty, and the University community.  The Confucius Institute will enable the NJCU community to learn more about Chinese language and culture.  This relationship will bolster NJCU’s standing as a center for academic excellence and will facilitate economic and cultural exchange in the region and beyond.”

Dr. Henderson continued, “NJCU’s collaborative partnership through the Confucius Institute will expand the internationalization of the University by providing a broad selection of new teaching and research opportunities for our faculty, and by preparing our students to study and work in a fast-paced global environment.”   

NJCU has been recognized by the American Council on Education for its international efforts and now has over 30 partnerships with universities throughout the world.  Recently, several joint degree programs have been approved by the Chinese government and NJCU.

“This distinction reflects our vision for internationalization at NJCU and is consistent with our plans to enhance cultural and educational opportunities for our students, faculty and librarians.  The Confucius Institute designation signals that NJCU is viewed as a worthy and reputable educational partner by a rising superpower in the contemporary world.  Our academic trajectory is on the upward swing; through these activities and programs we are engaged in enhancing our urban mission,” stated Dr. Daniel J. Julius, NJCU provost and senior vice president.   

Dr. Julius has had long-standing academic relationships in China and recently spoke as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Fudan University.

NJCU’s partner university, Jilin Huaqiao University of Foreign Languages, is a well-established school that serves 9,000 students and offers 26 majors. More information on Jilin Huaqiao can be found at

NJCU faculty will have the opportunity to visit and study at Huaqiao University of Foreign Languages in Jilin.   NJCU students will have the opportunity to study in China in special programs arranged through the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute at NJCU has an oversight committee comprised of faculty from both NJCU and its partner institution in China.  NJCU co-chairs are Dr. Alberto Barugel, professor of modern languages, and Dr. Rosemary Thurston, professor of history.  They serve on the committee with NJCU faculty, Dr. Yi-Yu Chen, assistant professor of management, and Dr. George Li, professor of finance, and interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Anne Mabry. Ms. Tamara Cunningham, executive assistant to the president, serves as managing liaison to the Confucius Institute, and Provost and Senior Vice President Julius serves as the Confucius Institute program director. The faculty oversight committee is responsible for the review of programs offered through the Confucius Institute at NJCU. 

Up to five Chinese faculty, fully supported by the partner institution, will begin working at NJCU this fall.  A library of 3,000 books is being donated by the Chinese partner university as are funds to host cultural events.  NJCU will host summer programs promoting Chinese language to the community as well as to high schools throughout the area. The Confucius Institute will also offer non-credit language courses in the continuing education model, and will host cultural events.

NOW OPEN! Dignitaries, faculty, and students attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Confucius Institute at New Jersey City University on November 2. Deputy Consul General Cheng Lei of the People’s Republic of China in New York (center right), NJCU President Sue Henderson, and Jilin Huaqiao University of Foreign Languages President Qin He (center left) together cut the ribbon. Also participating were: (from right) Education Counselor Xu Yongji, Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in New York; Vice President of Education Yue Qiang, Bureau of Jilin Province, China; (from left) Tamara Cunningham, NJCU Managing Liaison to the Confucius Institute at NJCU; and Yin Xiuli, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at NJCU.

DRAGON DANCE. Members of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company opened the dedication ceremony for the Confucius Institute at New Jersey City University (NJCU) with a spirited performance. The dance company is in residence at NJCU.

Tagged as: