BCIT was awarded the first Confucius Institute in Canada by China’s National Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) under the Chinese Ministry of Education, and inaugurated on February 7, 2006. The Hanban chose BCIT as the first Canadian site because of the global success BCIT has achieved and the accomplishments it has made in education by bringing a Canadian polytechnic into China.
The establishment of the Confucius Institute at BCIT marked a significant milestone in BCIT's historic relationship with industry, providing local business and industry with the practical skills and knowledge needed to compete successfully in the global market, particularly in China.
The Confucius Institute is mandated to promote cultural exchange, economic and business development, international trade, Chinese language, and commercial cooperation between Canada and China, by providing programs and courses for Canadian people and enterprises intending to do business with China.
Through BCIT's network with business and local industry, the Confucius Institute helps its clients move into the fast growing Chinese market. The institute provides them with the most updated skills and knowledge in the market and promotes BC and Canadian economic partnerships with Asia Pacific countries.
Provides training for instructors who are teaching Chinese as a Second Language in the Lower Mainland and assists them in their efforts to provide effective Chinese language and cultural instruction to an audience whose first language is predominantly English.
In addition to traditional classroom delivery, the Confucius Institute also delivers on-site corporate training that specifically fits the clients' needs. Depending on the requirements of clients, the courses vary in duration and intensity and are delivered in English, Chinese or a combination of both.
To provide insight and hands-on experience directly from managers who have developed successful business and trade relationships with China, the Confucius Institute co-organizes a series of workshops with the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Develop, focusing on the most critical issues and challenges facing Canadian companies as they strive to become export-ready for the Chinese market.
The Confucius Institute offers a series of non-credit accelerated courses for English speakers to meet the needs of business and industry.
As learning Mandarin gains importance and popularity worldwide, being accredited as a centre of Chinese language testing positions the Confucius Institute as a leader in language training. In 2008, the Confucius Institute at BCIT was granted approvals by Hanban to become the first comprehensive Chinese language testing centre in the world. Language tests include: the HSK, (also referred to as the Chinese TOEFL), the Business Chinese Test and the Youth Chinese Test.
As a result of an agreement established between the BC Ministry of Education and BCIT, Hanban (the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China), agreed to fund the Confucius Institute at BCIT to develop curricula and resources for Mandarin instruction and learning. This will be offered to the BC secondary schools as credited Mandarin as a Second Language courses. The project is well under way and the first course is scheduled to be offered on-line in the fall of 2009.