In November, 2004, under the support of Hanban, Nankai University co-established the first Confucius Institute in North America with the University of Maryland, initiating the history of Nankai University undertaking the establishment of Confucius institutes. Over the past ten years, Nankai University has co-established successively seven Confucius Institutes, namely, the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland, USA, the Confucius Institute at Aichi University, Japan, the Confucius Institute at the University of Minho, Portugal, the Confucius Institute at the University of Los Andes, Colombia, the Confucius Institute at Cheju Halla University, South Korea, the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow, UK, and the Neoma Confucius Institute for Business in Rouen, France. As the “most stable, effective and direct mode for Chinese culture going overseas”, Confucius Institutes play a comprehensive role of cultural exchange between China and the host countries. Moreover, they also serve as a new exchange platform for Nankai University to cooperate with foreign universities, promoting, to a large degree, the internationalization process of Nankai University.
Nankai University attaches great importance to the work of the Confucius Institute, and has set up a leading group for Chinese Language International promotion, Chancellor XUE Jinwen acted as the leader. The work of Confucius Institute has been listed into the Twelfth Five-year Plan of Nankai University. The Institute for Cross-cultural Communication was established as the base for the promotion of Chinese language. The Office for Confucius Institutes’ Affairs is also officially established, responsible for the operation and management of its Confucius institutes. The seven Confucius Institute each has its own characteristics and develops very well, thus attracting a large number of foreigners to study Chinese language and culture. Nankai University also plays an active role in fields like cross-cultural studies and Hanban faculty training etc. Because of the great efforts and accomplishments Nankai University has made in the past years, it has been honored five times at the annual Confucius Institute Conference “Award of Excellent Confucius Institute”, “Advanced Confucius Institute”, “Advanced Individual (dean) of Confucius Institute”. Besides, it has also been conferred the "Advanced Chinese partner University of Confucius Institute" award on the 7th Global Confucius Institutes Conference in December, 2012. Chancellor XUE Jinwen received the “Person of the Year” award on the 8th Global Confucius Institutes Conference in December, 2013.
Over the past ten years, Nankai University, guided and greatly supported by the Minstry of Education and Hanban, and taking its Confucius Instituttes as platform for comprehensive cultural exchange, has made a remarkable performance in introducting and demonstrating China and Chinese culture to the outside worlds. People at Nankai are ready to welcome the next ten years of Confucius Institutes with even greater enthusiam.