三人行,必有我师焉 When I walk along with two others, I certainly have someone to learn from. - Confucius 孔子

Confucius Institute VUB | Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The primary focus of the Confucius Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is research and academic reflection. The institute is a collaboration between Sichuan University, Renmin University of China and the VUB.  It is embedded within VUB, as an internal knowledge hub, ensuring similar quality standards, trust, and objectivity as the VUB itself. It pursues pertinence in research, language teaching, cultural exchanges, entrepreneurial attitudes, innovation and knowledge transfer. The institute is inherently based on the cooperation between universities, but also supports university, industry and government collaboration. It has the ambitions to carry out critical policy preparation to support research and consulting. Situated in Brussels, the Confucius Institute has a special focus on EU officers, representatives from international organisations and headquarters in Brussels, diplomats, and representatives from member states as well as NGOs. The Confucius is part of a worldwide network and receives support from the Chinese Government.

The Confucius Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel was established with 4 main purposes:

  • supporting academic research on contemporary China and the relationship between China and the European Union,
  • teaching Chinese language and a variety of cultural subjects at an academic and professional level,
  • bridging the differences between European and Chinese culture,
  • offering a platform for involvement of stakeholders of partner universities.

Activities

The Confucius Institute at the VUB organises several courses and activities throughout the year to work towards its goal of mutual cultural understanding. The insitute offers:

What's more, every year a summer camp to China is organised for students of the Confucius Institute at the VUB. This gives students the opportunity to truly experience the Chinese way of life and explore the cultural richness of the 'Kingdom of the Middle'. 

Our partners

知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也 - 孔子 Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance - Confucius

Chinese Language

The Confucius Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel organises Chinese Mandarin language courses at the VUB Etterbeek campus in Brussels with the guarantee that: 

  • the teacher of the class is a native speaker
  • the language of instruction is English

Under certain conditions, the students also have the opportunity to join a partially funded language and culture summer camp in China

The Confucius institute at the VUB is also mobile now! We have created an APP that assists language learners to review courses and learn new content with a userfriendly design and thematic content.

GROUP COURSES

Group courses are organised for every students of every level: beginners, intermediate and advanced. Enrolment for the spring semester of 2018 is already open. Here is some more information:

  • Courses start on 12 February 2018 and end on 24 May 2018
  • Enrolment is complete after (1) you fill and sign the enrolment form and send it to vub-ci@vub.ac.be and (2) you pay the tuition fee.
  • the deadline for enrolment is 16 March 2018

Interested? Find out more about timetables, prices and enrolment.

PRIVATE COURSES

These are tailor-made classes that can be organised on request by email.

Your class will be scheduled based on the agreement between participant(s) and teacher. The tuition fee of 70 EUR per hour should be paid within ten days after you receive the payment request. The invoice is issued by the Confucius Institute. The class can be shared by a maximum of two students who agree on the same level and schedule. 

Tai Chi Courses

The Confucius Institute at the VUB offers Tai Chi courses, both at the Etterbeek campus and at the Jette campus. Tai Chi is a soft Chinese martial art that was derived from Kung Fu. It is characterised by slow, fluid movements of the body that increase the strength of the body, concentration and awareness. Find out more and enroll here.

Open Courses

This semester, the Confucius Institute at the VUB organises Open Courses that allow anyone (VUB student or not) to learn more about Chinese culture. The courses are organised around a series of topics, including Culture, language, history, philosophy and more. We are also interested to hear what you would like to learn more about. Go to the open courses to find out more!

    Summer Camp

    Every year, the Confucius Institute at the VUB organises a summer camp to China. This gives students of the Confucius Institute the chance to really experience Chinese culture from closeby and to put in practice what they have learned.
    Find more information about the arrangments of the coming summer camp here.

    Course News

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    知者不惑, 仁者不忧, 勇者不惧 - 孔子 Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace - Confucius

    Credit Courses at VUB

    The Confucius Institute at the VUB endeavours to gradually integrate Chinese language and Chinese culture courses into VUB's curriculum, associated with ECTS-credits and to further develop courses and programmes in related fields.

    Starting from the fall of 2017, the Confucius Institute at the VUB offers credit courses with the cooperation of the Arts and Philosophy Department. This Chinese minor includes Chinese language and culture courses for a total of 30 ECTS over two years. In the first year of the minor, two courses are offered: Chinese Language Proficiency I & II,  and Chinese History and Culture I. In the second year, the scheduled courses are Chinese Language Proficiency III, Chinese History and Culture II and Chinese Language and Literature. 

    Courses in Schools

    The Confucius Institute at the VUB  has established cooperation with few secondary and primary schools in Belgium that intend to gradually integrate Chinese language and culture courses in their school curricula.

    The Brussels Diplomatic Academy

    A Postgraduate Certificate Programme in China Business Development can be followed at the Brussels Diplomatic Academy which is also part of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This programme equips students with a fundamentally multidisciplinary and very comprehensive ‘China training’ (including: basic Chinese, intercultural management, the Chinese economy, exporting to and purchasing and investing in China) of high quality, enriched by the hands-on experiences of academics and professionals actively engaged in China. For more information visit www.brusselsdiplomaticacademy.eu

    学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆 - 孔子 Learning without thought means labor lost; thought without learning is perilous - Confucius

    Supporting research at VUB

    The VUB- CI contributes to VUB research production by supporting research projects with a focus on China and aimed at enhancing knowledge exchange and mutual understanding with China.

    As a part of the VUB, the Confucius Institute fully embraces the principle of free inquiry and offers a neutral platform where independent and critical analyses of all subjects can be discussed.

    The funding for research projects is based on a co-financing by the promotor and the Confucius Institute at VUB on a 50/50 bases. Funds for each project can differ according to the entity of the project and they are subject to VUB-CI and Hanban’ approvals.

    Research projects awarded VUB-CI funds

    The following are the research projects currently supported by VUB-CI :

    Projects awarded in 2016 (ongoing)

    • Internationalising the Chinese martial arts: The development of a Wushu teaching method for children in Europe 

    Prof. Dr. Marc Theeboom, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy.

    • Intercultural Pragmatic Competence and Awareness in Second Language Learners

    Prof. Dr. Ann Peeters, Department of Linguistics and Literature Studies.

    Projects awarded in 2017 (ongoing):

    • Chinese and European Perspectives on Moral Constraints on War

     Prof. Dr. Coppieters Bruno, Head of Department of Political Science

    • Chinese Academic entrepreneurs: who are they and what drives them?  

    Prof. Dr. Crispeel Thomas, Department of Business Technology and Operations

    • Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, critical heritage studies and animation in China: a comparative perspective

    Prof. Dr. Jacobs Marc, Coordinator UNESCO Chair on Critical Heritage Studies and the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage; Faculty of Arts

    • China Young Cultural and Creative Talents Nurturing

    Prof. Dr.Segers Katia; Department of Communication Sciences

    Activities related to research projects

    While supporting specific research projects, the Confucius Institute at the VUB encourages  cooperation and facilitates mobility processes and knowledge exchanges between European and Chinese researchers and other relevant stakeholders.

    The following are some interesting workshops that VUB-CI research project promotors organised in order to strengthen relations with research partner’s and better advance their research plan and/or for disseminating knowledge about their research topic.

    Workshop on Academic Collaborations in the framework of Artificial Intelligence

    19 Decmber 2017 

    In this workshop, the recent AI (r)evolution was analysed and discussed from research and development point of view, and economic impact. With a strong emphasis on the China/Europe/USA perspective, the question of how universities can position themselves to contribute significantly and positively to this overwhelming AI (r)evolution was largely discussed.

    WORKSHOP Intercultural pragmatic competence and awareness in second language learners

    14 December 2017

    As part of the research project ‘A Cross-Linguistic Study on Intercultural Pragmatic Competence and Awareness in L2 learners of Chinese and Chinese L2 learners of English, German and Spanish’, Professor Ann Peeters organized a workshop on Intercultural pragmatic competence and awareness in second language learners. The workshop saw the participation of several Professors from Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi’an and it was the occasion to exchange knowledge on and discuss pragma-linguistic competences in Chinese language.

    Youth Sport: Internationalizing the Chinese martial arts.

    Throughout December 2017,  Prof. Marc Theeboom and youth sport experts from Shanghai University of Sport made several field visits in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and met several wushu coaches and young experts.

    Supported by VUB-CI, these activities are aimed at supporting Prof. Theeboom academic research focused on the development of a wushu teaching method for children in Europe. 

    Through these on-site visits , the group of experts gained a better overview  on the differences between wushu schools (only occurring in China) and wushu clubs: the former is highly competitive and uses a performance oriented approach, while the latter also allows leisure oriented participants. Based on these observation the research will further develop on the study of the most suitable  Wushu teaching methods for an European young audience.

    LECTURE The System of Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in China: the case of the Peking Opera

    14 December 2017

    In the framework of Prof. Marc Jacobs’s research on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, critical heritage studies and animation in China,  last 14 December 2017  Prof. Tang Lulu ( Beijing Foreign Studies University)  held a lecture at VUB on China and the safeguarding of Peking Opera.

    Prof Tang Lulu explained the main policies, legal and administrative measures in place in China related to intangible cultural heritage, then she touched upon Transmission, educationand awareness raising  on cultural intangible heritage. Finally, she made some concrete examples of ICH & Cultural Economy .

    开卷有益 - 孔子 Reading broadens the mind - Confucius

    VUB-CI Bookshop

    Are you a student of VUB-CI and you need a textbook or workbook for your language course?

    Through our online bookshop, you can easily find the book you need online.

    Click here to visit our bookshop

    VUB-CI Chinese Language App

    The Confucius institute at the VUB is also mobile now!

    We have created an APP that assists language learners to review courses and learn new content with a user-friendly design and thematic contents.

    At the moment, the VUB-CI Chinese language app is available only for VUB and VUB-CI students. If you are a student and you are interested in this learning tool, you can download the  app ‘Confucius_VUB’ from Google Playstore or Apple Store and then create an account.  You will then need VUB-CI authorization for validating your account and start using the app. For your account validation, please contact us at: vub-ci@vub.be

    Watch our Chinese language app introductory video on Youtube!

    Meet the Directors and our staff

    Director - Prof. Dr. Xinning SONG

    Prof. Dr. Xinning SONG is Jean Monnet Chair ad personam and Distinguished Professor at School of International Studies, Renmin University of China. He was the Vice Chair and then Associate Dean of the School, Direcotr of the Centre for European Studies which is the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Senior Reseach Fellow at UNU-CRIS, Research Scholar at LSE and Fubright Professor at UC San Diego. He is now serving as the China Director of the Confucius Institute, and Brussels Academy for China and European Studies at VUB.

    Director - Prof. Dr. Chang ZHU

    Prof. dr. Chang Zhu is Professor in Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 2010. Prof. Chang Zhu coordinates the LEAD (Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education) project (from 2015-2018); and from 2013-2016 she was project coordinator of the EU-China DOC project under the EU Erasmus Mundus Program. Prof. Chang Zhu is director of the EU-China Higher Education Research Center (ECHE), the Online and Blended Learning Competence Center, and the Belgian Director of the Confucius Institute at VUB. She is promoter and principal investigator of several key fundamental research projects in the field of higher education, internationalization, university governance, academic leadership, international academic mobility, student competence and literacy development, educational innovation, online and blended learning, MOOC, ICT-supported learning and social inclusion. 

    Language Teacher - Prof. Dr. Mengjuan ZHENG

    Mengjuan ZHENG is an associate professor and a Master Supervisor at the School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China. At present, she is also a Chinese language teacher at Confucius Institute of VUB.She received the PhD. Degree from Communication University of China and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland for one year.As a professional Chinese teacher, she has been teaching and researching in Chinese applied linguistics for the past 20 years and is named as Interviewer of ‘Test for International Chinese Language Teacher Certificate’(《国际汉语教师证书》考试).

    She is very willing to share with you not only the interesting Chinese language and characters but also the fascinating Chinese culture.

    Language Teacher - Dr. Lei ZHANG

    Lei Zhang is a lecturer and researcher in law at VUB and has taught Chinese language for ten years.She has the qualification of a Chinese lawyer, junior judge, junior prosecutor and notary public.

    She worked as a TV program director at the CCTV, legal consultant at Belgian law firms and project manager at ETRO, VUB.

    Language Teacher - Xin GAO

    Gao Xin has 3 years working experience as a Chinese language teacher in Beijing Daystar Academy.

    She likes  to travel and she is a foodie. She looks forward to seeing you in her class!

    Project officer - Eugenia MARCHETTI

    Eugenia is a Sinologist and obtained her MA Degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Leiden. From 2007 to 2009 Eugenia has lived in China and speaks fluent Chinese. She has a strong experience in international cooperation in higher education and mobility projects with China that she first gained at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia as the Coordinator of the NGO ‘ProgettoCina’. Eugenia has also been assistant policy officer both at the European Commission (DG EAC) and at Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency working on Erasmus+ international dimension and youth policies. Currently, besides her position at the Confucius Institute, she is also part of the management team of the LEAD project, an Erasmus+ Capacity Building project on EU-China Academic leadership and governance.

    Project officer - Maarten GERNAY

    Education: Master in Sinology at the KULeuven

    Career: Already before graduating as a sinologist, he started as a translator and interpreter for a Belgian Chemical company importing Chinese knowhow for an extraction process. After a year , he changed to a more political direction as an assistant at the Taipei Representative Office. Not long after that, he had the opportunity to start at the VUB as a managing assistant, supporting the contact with incoming Chinese students and organizing the educational side of the Confucius Institute.

    Interests: As a sinologist, his strongest interests lie in traditional Chinese culture: art, calligraphy, tea culture, history, Weiqi. But also the fast changes of Chinese domestic politics, technology and international relations are very interesting.

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    Upcoming events

    Thursday 5 July, 13:30

    China Summer Camp of the Confucius Institute at the VUB 2018

    Introduction...

    Introduction...

    Friday 1 January, 12:00

    Tai Chi group classes for beginners at Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus

    Join the Tai Chi group classes for beginners organised by the VUB Confucius Institute at Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus...

    Join the Tai Chi group classes for beginners organised by the VUB Confucius Institute at Bruss...

    Friday 1 January, 12:00

    Chinese Language Courses Bookshop

    If you study Chinese Language Courses at the Confucius Institute at the Vrij Universiteit Brussels, you can buy certain textbooks and workbooks from the Confucius Institute. Select the books you want to buy and proceed to pay, it's that easy. Be sure to contact your teacher first...

    If you study Chinese Language Courses at the Confucius Institute at the Vrij Universiteit Brussel...

    Friday 1 January, 12:00

    Chinese language courses at the VUB Confucius Institute

    The VUB Confucius Institute established Chinese language courses at the Brussels Engineering, Sciences & Humanities Campus....

    The VUB Confucius Institute established Chinese language courses at the Brussels Engineering, S...

    Friday 1 January, 12:00

    The beginning of Chinese Wisdom: An Introduction to the Early Chinese Philosophy

    VUB-CI offers a general introduction course to the early Chinese philosophy from the perspective of comparative studies. Chinese philosophy has its own origin and categories. Tracing back the philosophical tradition to its beginning, the lecture examines different schools of...

    VUB-CI offers a general introduction course to the early Chinese philosophy from the perspective ...

    Friday 1 January, 12:00

    Traditional Chinese Religions and Contemporary Society

    The course is open for undergraduate students, graduate students and everyone else who is interested in Chinese culture. The main purpose of the course is to introduce the functions of traditional Chinese religions in traditional Chiense society and rethink their roles in the...

    The course is open for undergraduate students, graduate students and everyone else who is interes...

    Past Events

    The Confucius Institute has already organised a large variety of events on several topics. Usually, our events are held in Brussels, but we are also active in different places (Krakow, Sofia, Naples, ...). Here is a list of some of the events we did in the past.