Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) is a university directly under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. It was established in 1962 under the guidance of Premier Zhou Enlai. In June 1964, it was designated as Beijing Language Institute. In 1974, Chairman Mao Zedong inscribed the name for the Institute. In June 1996, it was then renamed as Beijing Language and Culture University.
BLCU is known as the Mini-United Nations, it is the only university of its kind in China that offers Chinese language and culture courses to foreign students. Meanwhile, BLCU provides professional courses in various fields, such as foreign languages, Chinese, information science, economics, arts, and other majors to Chinese students. In addition, BLCU helps foster the growth of our academic faculty and supplies language courses designed for those who plan to study abroad. Over 50 years of development has made BLCU a multidisciplinary university that has enhanced language teaching and research. This was done with synergetic development in fields such as Chinese, foreign languages and other relevant disciplines. Since its foundation in 1962, BLCU has been an important academic base for language and cultural research and the cradle for advanced international talents in China. In 2014, we made the explicit aim and plan to build a first-class language university and to promote the development of four great academic fields.
In the area of Teaching Chinese as Foreign Language (TCFL) and the promotion of Chinese culture, Beijing Language and Culture University has the longest history, the largest size and the most well qualified academic faculty in the area. Since its founding the university has trained some 200,000 foreign students who are proficient in the Chinese language and familiar with Chinese culture from 183 countries and regions. Many alumni have become celebrities in various fields such as education, politics and business. Among these talents include: Kassem Tokayev, the former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva; Mulatu Teshome Watto, Ethiopian President; Karim Massimov, Chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Igor, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Kubin, German Sinologist; Eric Cornell, American physicist and Nobel laureate, and others. All of the above mentioned people once studied at BLCU. Furthermore, BLCU has fostered hundreds of thousands of talented people, including a large number of overseas people who have been sponsored by the Chinese government to take specialized foreign language courses in the Pre-departure Training Department. Now many of them have become national pillars in a variety of fields.
BLCU has kept its distinguishing features and advantages in the field of Chinese international education since the 1990s; meanwhile, new and related disciplines have been developed as well. BLCU’s current disciplines are composed of eight categories: literature, economics, law, engineering, history, education, management and fine arts. Besides a Post-Doctoral Research Center, there are 2 first-level disciplines with 17 subordinate disciplines in doctoral level, 6 first-level disciplines with 31 subordinate disciplines in master’s level and 6 professional master’s degree programs, including 1 national key discipline and 10 municipal key disciplines. The university is also currently comprised of 3 divisions, 8 Schools and 4 research centers as follows: the Division of Chinese International Education (including the School of Chinese Studies, the School of Advanced Chinese Training, the School of Intensive Chinese Studies, the School of Preparatory Education and the School of Mandarin Education), the Division of Foreign Languages (including the English School, the School of Translation and Interpreting, the School of Applied Foreign Languages, the School of Eastern Languages and Cultures, the School of Western Languages and Cultures and the Mid-East School), the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (including the School of Chinese Language Education, the School of Humanities, the School of Political Sciences, the School of International Relations and the School of Journalism and Communication), the School of Information Sciences, the Business School, the School of Fine Arts, the School of Marxism Studies, the School of Communication Science, the School of Training, the College of Network Education, the Division of Physical Education, the Academy of Languages, the TCFL Research Center, the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources and the Chinese Culture Research Institute.
BLCU now has 13 research centers (or bases) that are above ministerial and provincial level. Among these research bodies, the TCFL Research Center is one of the “100 key research bases of Humanities and Social Sciences” established by Ministry of Education; the Arab Research Center is the key research base for regions and nationalities of Ministry of Education; the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center, the Institute of Chinese Language Policies and Standards, and Center for the Protection and Research of Language Resources of China are the research bases of the State Language Work Committee; the International Research Base for Chinese Language Teaching is among the first batch of the ten research bases for Chinese language promotion established by NOCFL; the Research Center for Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Worldwide is the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies platform supported by Ministry of Culture; the Capital International Culture Research Base and the Beijing Literature Language and Cultural Heritage Research Center are key research bases of municipal level; the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources is the only center focused on language in “Advanced Innovation Centers for Beijing colleges and universities” built by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission; China’s Applied Research Center for Ethnic Languages is the research institute supported by State Ethnic Affairs Commission; the China International Education and Culture Exchange Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the research base supported by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine; the Guangming Literary Heritage Institute is the research body co-founded with Guangming Daily. In addition, BLCU has 33 research bodies of school level, such as the Confucius Institute Collaborative Innovation Center for Sustainable Development and the Collaborative Innovation Center for China’s Neighboring Languages and Cultures.
Along with the expansion of China’s International cooperation and exchange, BLCU has also built tighter and broader connection with the world.BLCU has established partnership with over 321 universities and educational institutions in 58 countries and regions. It has formed an international education pattern with omni-directional, multi-level and wide-ranging features. Working with Harvard University, BLCU built the Harvard-Beijing Academy. It established BLCU Bangkok College in Thailand and Tokyo College in Japan.
BLCU conducts Sino-foreign joint programs in various forms. It conducted joint-degree programs in undergraduate and graduate levels with over 10 foreign universities, such as Webster University and George Mason University in the U.S., Konstanz University of Applied Sciences in Germany and University of Manchester in Britain. BLCU has co-established 18 Confucius Institutes and 1 independent Confucius Classroom, and was awarded the “Outstanding Confucius Institute Chinese Partner of the Year”. In recent years, around 100 teachers teach abroad and more than 400 students study abroad each year. The university receives over 1500 international visitors each year as well.
BLCU publishes journals such as: Teaching of Chinese in the World, Language Teaching and Studies, Chinese Culture Study, Sinology Study, International Study on the Teaching of Chinese, Study on Language Planning, Literature Linguistics, Chinese Style, and Translating China.Various teaching books published by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press are influential home and abroad. Materials on Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language published by BLCU Press are widely used by institutions and training organizations in over 100 countries.