About us

Chinese president Xi Jiping launches the Confucius Institute at Victoria University
Chinese President Xi Jinping (then Vice President) launched the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington in 2010.
Establishing the Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington was formally established and opened in June 2010 as a partnership between Victoria University of Wellington and Xiamen University in China, making it part of a worldwide association of over 500 Confucius Institutes operating with the financial backing and support of Hanban, the Chinese Language Council International and Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing.

Advisory Board Chairman Tony Browne accepts the 2015 Outstanding Confucius Institute award from Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong at the Confucius Institutes Global Conference held in Shanghai on 6 December 2015
Staff of the Wellington Confucius Institute receive a '2019 Outstanding Confucius Institute' award. To the left of the Xiamen University President Zhang Rong (centre) are Chairman Tony Browne, Director Adele Bryant (holding award) and Deputy Director Zhao Yezhu
Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington has won the Outstanding Confucius Institute (先进孔院) award twice, in 2015 and 2019. (Above) CI Advisory Board Chairman Tony Browne accepts the 2015 award from Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong. (Below) CIVUW staff receive the 2019 award. To the left of the Xiamen University President Zhang Rong (centre) are Chairman Tony Browne, Director Adele Bryant (holding award) and Deputy Director Zhao Yezhu

In 2020, Hanban was replaced by two new entities – the Chinese International Education Foundation and a Centre for Language Education and Cooperation – and university partners became the main relationship for support of Confucius Institutes. In September 2020, the University was one of the first to renew its cooperation agreement with Xiamen University on the operation and management of the Confucius Institute under the new arrangements.

Promoting language and culture

The role of the Confucius Institute is to build New Zealanders’ understanding of and familiarity with China, its language, culture and people. The Confucius Institute provides opportunities for New Zealanders to learn Chinese-in schools and in tailored classes. It builds knowledge of China’s long and rich culture by bringing in artists, writers, and performers to give New Zealand audiences an experience of Chinese traditional and contemporary culture, often in collaboration with Kiwi artists and performers.

As part of the University, the Confucius Institute contributes to enhancing scholarship about China and building academic links with China, especially with Confucius Institute partner, Xiamen University. The Confucius Institute is part of the University's strategy to build its engagement with China.

Who we work with

Musicians Li Luo and Jia Zhenzhen perform in Hunter Council Chambers
Musicians Liam Furey (piano), Li Luo (pipa) and Jia Zhenzhen (liuqin) perform in the China Crossing III concert in collaboration with Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music.

The Confucius Institute collaborates with schools and organisations that teach Chinese and promote Chinese culture. Within the University, the Confucius Institute works closely with the School of Languages and Cultures and other departments involved in developing links with China. It works with the Confucius Institutes of the Universities of Auckland and Canterbury, Ministry of Education, Future Learning Solutions, New Zealand Chinese Language Teachers Association and Asia New Zealand Foundation.

For its cultural programme, the Confucius Institute works within the University and with a wide range of public institutions and local cultural and community organisations including Te KōkĪ New Zealand School of Music, New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, New Zealand Federation of Film Societies, New Zealand China Friendship Society and other Chinese cultural, media and community organisations. The Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington values its warm working relationship with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

VUW and XMU logos