Leeds Confucius Institute opens for business

Leeds is to join an elite band of European universities with a specialist Confucius Institute dedicated to business and commerce.

The Leeds International Business Confucius Institute (LIBCI) will promote the understanding of Chinese culture and the teaching of Mandarin in the UK. It will boost trade by running short training courses in Chinese culture and etiquette for multinational and regional companies hoping to invest in China and orientation courses for Chinese businesses hoping to invest in the UK.

Currently there are just two business-focused Confucius Institutes in Europe – at the University of Copenhagen and the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Leeds International Business Confucius Institute is being opened in partnership with the University for International Business and Economics (UIBE), one of China's leading universities.

The Leeds institute opened on Wednesday 28 November with a glittering celebration of the long-standing links between the University of Leeds and China. Professor Michael Arthur, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: "Our University has a proud history of studying and working with China and its people and the opening of the Leeds International Business Confucius Institute will build on this.

"Businesses and entrepreneurs will be welcomed alongside students and scholars when the institute opens and this is great news for Leeds, Yorkshire and the north of England. We are delighted and honoured to host the institute and to be partnering with the University for International Business and Economics."

Leeds University Business School has a strong reputation in China, and the Centre for International Business (CIBUL), one of the world's leading institutes for international business research and teaching, has particular expertise in China and the Far East. The new Leeds institute will be based in CIBUL and its opening will be the culmination of years of work led by Peter Buckley OBE, Professor of International Business at Leeds University Business School. 

Professor Buckley said: "There are just 11 Confucius Institutes in the UK and those specialising in business and commerce are extremely rare. Leeds has been chosen because of its strong academic reputation around the world, and in particular, the ground-breaking work carried out here at the Centre for International Business."

Activities in the Leeds International Business Confucius Institute will compliment work already underway at the White Rose East Asian Centre (WREAC), which is run by Leeds University Business School, the Centre for East Asian Studies at Leeds and the School of East Asian Studies at Sheffield University. As part of the partnership with UIBE, staff and student exchanges will study in Leeds, and vice-versa.

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