BLCU at a glance
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 Beijing Language and Culture University.
BLCU is known as the Mini-United Nations, it is the only university of its kind in China that specializes in offering Chinese language and culture courses to foreign students. Meanwhile, BLCU provides professional courses in various fields, such as foreign languages, Chinese language, information science, economics, arts, psychology, pedagogy, linguistics and other majors to Chinese students. In addition, BLCU shoulders the responsibilities of training Chinese teachers and supplies language courses designed for those who plan to study abroad. Over 50 years of development has made BLCU a multidisciplinary university that featured in language and culture education and research, a significant academic center for Chinese and foreign language and culture studies, and the cradle for advanced international talents in China. In 2019, we made the explicit aim and plan to build a world first-class language-oriented university and to develop in a “three-step” strategy in the upcoming era.
In the area of Teaching Chinese as Foreign Language (TCFL) and the promotion of Chinese culture, BLCU has the longest history, the largest size and the most well qualified academic faculty. Since its founding, the university has trained some 220,000 foreign students who are proficient in Chinese and familiar with Chinese culture from 184 countries and regions. Many alumni have become celebrities in various fields such as education, politics and business. Among these talents include Kassem Tokayev, current President of Kazakhstan; Mulatu Teshome Watto, former Ethiopian President; Karim Massimov, Chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Igor Morgulov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Wolfgang Kubin, German Sinologist; Eric Cornell, American physicist and Nobel laureate, and others who have all studied at BLCU. Furthermore, BLCU has fostered thousands of talented people, including a large number of people who have been sponsored to study overseas 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 nine categories: literature, economics, law, engineering, history, pedagogy, management, fine arts and science, and has formed a complete system for personnel cultivation. In addition to 2 Post-Doctoral Research Centers, there are 2 first-level disciplines with 18 subordinate disciplines at doctoral level, 6 first-level disciplines and 3 subordinate disciplines at master’s level and 5 professional master’s degree programs, among which 1 national subordinate key discipline, 1 municipal first-level key discipline, 10 municipal subordinate key disciplines and 2 municipal advanced innovative are included.
At present, BLCU has 39 bachelor programs, among which 10 national first-class discipline construction programs, 4 municipal first-class discipline construction programs, 1 municipal key construction discipline, 7 national characteristic disciplines and 4 municipal characteristic disciplines. Besides, there is 1 “National Huang Danian Style University Teaching Team”, 2 national excellent teaching teams and 4 municipal excellent teaching teams.
The university is currently comprised of the following teaching and research units: the Faculty of International Education of Chinese Language (including the School of Chinese Studies, the School of Advanced Chinese Training, the School of Intensive Chinese Studies, the School of Preparatory Education, the School of Mandarin Education, Center for International Communication of Chinese Culture), the Faculty of Foreign Languages (including the School of English Studies, the School of Translation and Interpreting, the School of Applied Foreign Languages, the School of Asian Languages and Cultures, the School of European Languages and Cultures, the School of Middle East Studies and the Academy of International and Regional Studies), the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (including the School of Chinese Education, the School of Humanities, the School of International Relations, the School of Journalism and Communication and the Beijing Literature Language and Cultural Heritage Research Base); the School of Information Science (Language Intelligence Research Institute), the Business School, the School of Marxism Studies, the College of Art, the School of Communication Science (including the Institute for Language&Pathology and Brain Sciences), the Department of Linguistics, the School of Psychology, the School of Continuing Education, the Online Education College, the Department of Physical Education, the International College; the Research Institute of International Chinese Language Education (Research Center for Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages); the Faculty of Linguistic Sciences, the Chinese Culture Research Institute (Mei Lanfang Art Inheritance and Communication Center), the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources(National Language Service Corps of China), the Institute on Educational Policy and Evaluation of International Students, the Economic Research Institute, the International Communication Institute of Chinese Calligraphy, the Center for the Cognitive Science of Language, the International Exchange Center of Industrial Culture of BLCU (co-located with the Academy of International and Regional Studies), the Belt and Road Academy, Secretariat of the Asian Classics Translation and Publication Project (affiliated to the Belt and Road Academy), Lu Xun and World Culture Research Institute of Beijing Language and Culture University (affiliated to the Belt and Road Academy), the Overseas Chinese Education Research Institute (affiliated to Research Institute of International Chinese Language Education).
BLCU now has set up 14 research centers (or bases) that are above ministerial and provincial level, and they are the Research Institute of International Chinese Language Education (one of the “100 key research bases of humanities and social sciences” established by Ministry of Education), the Arabian Studies Institute (key research base for international and regional studies of Ministry of Education), the Center for the Cognitive Science of Language (“111 Program” platform of introducing talents supported by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology, taking language cognitive science as the discipline innovation point), the Institute for Language Monitoring and Social Computing (key base for language resource monitoring of State Language Commission), the Research Center of Language and Character Normative Standards of China(the place where State Language Commission develop and revise normative standards of spoken and written languages), the Research Center for Protection of Language Resources of China (a professional institute through which State Language Commission implements Project for Protection of Language Resources of China), the Research Center for Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (one of the first batch of the ten research bases for Chinese language promotion established by NOCFL), the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support Network & Research Center (a Sino-foreign translation cooperative platform established by Ministry of Culture and Tourism), the Research Base of International Cultures (Beijing) and the Beijing Literature Language and Culture Heritage Research Base (key research bases in the field of philosophy and social sciences at municipal level), the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources (the only center focused on language in “Advanced Innovation Centers for Beijing colleges and universities” set up by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission), the China Research Center for Ethnic Language (an institute studying the application of China’s ethnic languages and orthographies supported by National Ethnic Affairs Commission), the International Education and Cultural Communication Base of Traditional Chinese Medicine (a characteristic base supported and established by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine), and the Guangming Literary Heritage Research Institute (a research body co-founded with Guangming Daily). Except for research centers of the ministerial and provincial level, BLCU has 16 centers in the international and regional studies field accredited by Ministry of Education, such as Latin-American Language and Culture Center, one research center established by Beijing Municipal Language Commission (Beijing Language Rehabilitation Education Research Center) and more than 50 research bodies at university level.
Along with the expansion of China’s International cooperation and exchanges, BLCU has also built tighter and broader connection with the world. BLCU has established partnership with over 359 universities and educational institutions in 61 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.
Along with the expansion of China’s international cooperation and exchanges, BLCU has also built a tighter and broader connection with the world. BLCU has established partnership with over 386 universities and educational institutions in 75 countries and regions among which 32 are top 200 universities worldwide, and has formed a productive international education pattern with all-around, multi-level and wide-ranging features. BLCU has set up the Harvard-Beijing Academy in cooperation with Harvard University, and established the Bangkok College in Thailand and the Tokyo College in Japan respectively. BLCU also conducts over 100 Sino-foreign joint programs in various modes, such as joint-degree programs with University of Manchester and Kansai Gaidai University, exchange programs with University of Bonn and University of Barcelona, and other study abroad programs with universities such as Sungkyunkwan University, UC Berkeley and the University of Sydney. BLCU has co-established 18 Confucius Institutes and 2 independent Confucius Classrooms, and was awarded the “Outstanding Confucius Institute Chinese Partner of the Year”. In recent years, around 100 teachers teach overseas and more than 400 students study abroad each year. The university receives over 1,500 international visitors each year as well.
BLCU edits and publishes nearly 20 journals, including Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies, Chinese Teaching in The World, Chinese Culture Research, Chinese Studies, Literature Linguistics, Journal of International Chinese Education, Journal of Area and International Studies, and Journal of International Chinese Teaching, etc.
Various textbooks published by the BLCU Press are influential at 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.
(Statistics quoted are up till May 2021 from BLCU University Office)
BLCU at a glance
Strength in numbers
Among all Chinese universities:
More than 220,000 alumni in 184 countries
Most accessible and friendly university
2,599 full-time graduate students
One of the top fifty universities
6,300 full-time undergraduates
Largest number of international students
6,000 international students
One of the top four language universities
1,225 full-time faculty and staff