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 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, 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, BLCU has the longest history, the largest size and the most well qualified academic faculty. Since its founding, the university has trained some 200,000 foreign students who are proficient in 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 Morgulov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Wolfgang 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 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 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 in master’s level and 6 professional master’s degree programs, including 1 national key discipline and 10 municipal key disciplines.
The university is currently comprised of 3 faculties, 9 independent schools and 8 research centers as follows: 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 Base of Chinese Teaching and Research and the School of Mandarin Education), the Faculty of Foreign Studies (including the School of English Studies, the School of Translation and Interpreting, the School of Applied Foreign Languages, the School of Oriental Languages and Cultures, the School of Western Languages and Cultures, the School of Middle East Studies and the International and Regional Studies Institute), the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (including the School of Chinese Language Education, the School of Humanities, the School of International Relations, the School of Political Sciences and the School of Journalism and Communication); the School of Information Sciences, the Business School, the School of Marxism Studies, the School of Arts, the School of Language Rehabilitation (including the Institute for Speech-Language Pathology and Brain Science), the Department of Linguistics, the School of Continuing Education, the College of Network Education, the Department of Physical Education; the Center for Studies of Chinese as a Second Language, the Institute of Linguistic Sciences, the Chinese Culture Research Institute, the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources, the Institute of International Student Education Policy and Evaluation Research, the Institute of Economy Research, the Base of Language Cognition Science Discipline Innovation Introduction (Cultivation) and the Institute of Chinese Calligraphy International Communication.
BLCU now has set up over 60 researching platforms in various fields at different levels, among them there are 14 research centers (or bases) that are above ministerial and provincial level, they are the Center for Studies of Chinese as a Second Language (one of the “100 key research bases of Humanities and Social Sciences” established by Ministry of Education); the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center (language resources monitoring base of the State Language Work Committee); the Capital International Culture Research Base (key research base in the field of Philosophy and Social Sciences at municipal level); the International Research Base for Chinese Language Teaching (among the first batch of the ten research bases for Chinese language promotion established by NOCFL); the Arab Research Center (key research base for regions and nationalities of Ministry of Education); the Institute of Chinese Language Policies and Standards Research (language standards setting base of the State Language Work Committee); the Guangming Literary Heritage Institute (a research body co-founded with Guangming Daily); the Research Center for Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Worldwide (the Chinese-foreign cultures translation and studies platform supported by Ministry of Culture); the Center for the Protection and Research of Language Resources in China (a professional institute of the State Language Work Committee for implementing national language resources protection projects); Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Language Resources (the only center focused on language in “Advanced Innovation Centers for Beijing colleges and universities” built by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission); the China International Education and Culture Exchange Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine (a specialized research base supported by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine); China’s Applied Research Center for Ethnic Languages (a research institute supported by State Ethnic Affairs Commission); and the Beijing Literature Language and Cultural Heritage Research Center (key research base in the field of Philosophy and Social Sciences at municipal 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.
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 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 1500 international visitors each year as well.
BLCU publishes journals including:Chinese Teaching in the World,Language Teaching and Studies,Chinese Culture Study,International Study on the Teaching of Chinese,Chinese Studies,Study on Language Planning,Literature Linguistics,Journal of International Chinese Education, andInternational and Regional Studies, etc. Various textbooks published by the BLCU 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.
(Statistics quoted are up till January, 2019)
BLCU at a glance
Strength in numbers
Among all Chinese universities:
More than 200,000 alumni in 183 countries
Most accessible and friendly university
6,300 full-time undergrads
One of the top fifty universities
2,500 full-time graduate students
Largest number of international students
6,000 international students
One of the top four language universities
1,200 full-time faculty and staff