George Washington president is one of 10 council members selected from more than 400 institutions.
George Washington University President Steven Knapp has been named to the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, the governing body of Confucius Institutes worldwide. Dr. Knapp joins the 10-member council, selected from more than 400 institutes that host Confucius Institutes around the world, for a two-year term in December.
Confucius Institutes promote the study of Chinese language and culture. The Confucius Institute at GW opened in April, and is the first in Washington, D.C. GW is partnering with Nanjing University, one of the oldest, most prestigious institutes of higher learning in China, to jointly operate the institute, and a team of faculty members and graduate students will teach Chinese language classes.
“The George Washington University has long been committed to international education and cultural exchange. I am deeply honored to take on this new role in expanding learning opportunities around the world,” Dr. Knapp said.
Xu Lin, director general of the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and chief executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, invited Dr. Knapp to join the council.
“Your efforts for promoting Chinese language learning and culture among the young students, and for advancing the understanding of China by people of all walks of life in Washington, D.C., are very admirable,” she wrote in her letter of invitation.
George Washington has a large population of Chinese students in Washington, D.C. In the 2012-13 academic year, the number of Chinese students studying at GW increased by 67 percent to more than 1,200 students. Additionally, there are hundreds of GW alumni who live in China. GW has also established relationships with Chinese universities, including Renmin University and Fudan University. In 2012, GW signed a comprehensive agreement launched a new collaboration with Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province to offer advanced degrees in finance and accountancy.
Dr. Knapp and other members of the university’s leadership team will attend the Fortune Global Forum, which will be held in Chengdu, China, June 6-8. GW is the inaugural educational partner for the forum.