Leaders in China: BLCU 50th Anniversary, Presidents and Confucius Institute Forums

| September 10, 2012
Webster Celebrates BLCU 50th Anniversary

Webster University leaders were on hand to celebrate BLCU’s 50th anniversary.

Webster University China

President Stroble with BLCU leader Zhao Min

Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Z. Schuster were among the higher education leaders who traveled to China in early September for a series of events on international partnerships and higher ed in China.

A key event attracting them to the Chinese capital was the 50th anniversary celebration of Beijing Language and Culture University, Webster’s partner in China for its Confucius Institute.

Stroble and Schuster each presented at the International Presidents’ Forum, as well as at the third annual World University Confucius Institute Forum. In their talks, they represented Webster and its success in global partnerships to an audience that included university presidents from around the world and dignitaries from China’s Ministry of Education.

Those accompanying the delegation also included Debbie Pierce, director of Webster’s Confucius Institute and the Center for International Education, and Richard Foristel, director of Webster China.

Webster University - BLCU gift

Stroble and Schuster presented BLCU with a 50th anniversary gift on behalf of Webster, a photo of St. Louis and the recent Chinese lantern exhibit at the Botanical Garden.

Webster has hosted a Confucius Institute — the first in Missouri — since 2009, through which it has steadily expanded Chinese language and cultural opportunities within the St. Louis region and abroad. It is considered a “model Confucius Institute” by Hanban (Confucius Institute headquarters), and it has exemplified the “enhance partnerships locally and globally” goal in Webster’s strategic prism.

Just a few examples: When Webster opened its Confucius Institute four years ago, there were two area schools teaching Chinese; now there are 43. In addition to these K-12 schools who now teach Chinese through volunteer teachers from BLCU, Webster began the first immersion Mandarin teaching in the St. Louis Immersion School, with an opening enrollment of 25 students.

Webster has also recently hosted the Regional “Happy Chinese” competition with over 200 participants from five states, has been a major collaborator on two recent programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and hosted the Midwest Regional Chinese language and talent competition, attracting 100 middle school, high school and college students.

Webster University - Partnerships in China

Schuster and Stroble each presented at international forums surrounding the 50th anniversary events.

It’s all part of Webster developing partnerships around the globe and in China in particular, which made Stroble and Schuster natural fits to present Webster’s story at these forums.

Since 1996, Webster University has been a pioneer in global business education in the People’s Republic of China. It was the first to be recognized by the Ministry of Education for Joint MBA instruction and degrees.

Today, cooperating with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) and with the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) in Chengdu, there are over 1000 Webster University MBA graduates in China.

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