University, supporting organization and Chinese partner institutions sign cooperation agreementThe University of Bonn and the Confucius Institute in Bonn are to continue their partnership on a new contractual footing, having now set out the conditions in writing for securing the transparency, scientific freedom and independence of the institute’s activities. The University of Bonn’s partners under the new contract are the Chinese International Education Foundation, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and the association Konfuzius-Institut Bonn e.V. (Confucius Institute Bonn).
The University’s previous cooperation agreement with the organization that supports the Confucius Institute in Bonn had lapsed in 2021. Konfuzius-Institut Bonn e. V. continued its program based on the old contract by mutual consent during the negotiations over a new version, although no new projects were initiated.
Reflecting a primary aim of the Confucius Institute in Bonn, the new agreement sets out the parameters for supporting and maintaining the partnership between Germany and China in the areas of Chinese language and culture, education, academia, science and research. To this end, the institute is to offer Chinese language courses at varying levels of difficulty to University of Bonn members and the general public. There are also plans for continual professional development courses for teachers of Chinese as a foreign language, which will involve running standardized language examinations ("Chinese Proficiency Tests" and "Business Chinese Proficiency Tests") and issuing corresponding certificates.
In addition, the institute is to organize talks and lectures on Chinese history, culture and art, including traditional Chinese medicine and other topics, and is to encourage academic debate, e.g. through seminars and conferences. It will maintain its own library holding a wide range of media, teaching materials and information on Chinese language and culture. The institute is to give the University a say in what media it stocks.
The Confucius Institute in Bonn will also promote German-Chinese dialogue in the form of exchanges between researchers, teachers, students and schoolchildren, assist Chinese visitors to Germany and prepare German nationals for an upcoming trip to China. As a nonprofit organization, the Confucius Institute will do all it can to provide access to language courses and events to everyone, regardless of their political or religious beliefs, background or gender.
Nonprofit and autonomous
In accordance with its articles of association, Konfuzius-Institut Bonn e. V.--as a nonprofit organization-has autonomous responsibility for fulfilling its mission and does not follow instructions given by external parties. It designs its range of courses and teaching materials as it sees fit. The highest-level decision-making body at the Confucius Institute in Bonn is the "full management board," which has to have at least six members and holds comprehensive administrative responsibility for all the institute’s activities. Its members are elected by the general assembly. It prepares development plans and takes care of budget planning and the selection and nomination of the general management and their deputies. BLCU covers the cost of the institute, its teaching materials and its staff. The University of Bonn does not provide any funding and will not do so in the future either.
As a private institution affiliated with the University of Bonn (an "An-Institut"), the Confucius Institute in Bonn undertakes to uphold all academic, ethical and legal standards and to comply with the University’s provisions for ensuring good research practice. In consultation with the academic advisory board, a quality management system will be introduced to this end that meets internationally recognized standards and that will be evaluated at regular intervals.
The contracting parties have agreed to make their agreement public. The cooperation agreement and the supporting organization’s articles of association can be found here: