Update on Asia Society's Chinese Language Program
For more than a decade, the Asia Society has been one of the leading facilitators of Chinese language learning in K-12 classrooms across the United States. Over the years, these programs have benefitted thousands of American teachers and hundreds of thousands of American students, and helped build bridges between the two nations.
This Chinese language program of support to schools has been funded by the Chinese Ministry of Education through Hanban. The decisions as to which schools receive funding in support of their Chinese language programs and how exactly those funds will be deployed for that purpose have been made by the Asia Society and not the Ministry.
In June 2020, the Asia Society was notified by Hanban that it intended to disband. In September 2020, the network of schools supported by the program were renamed from "Confucius Classrooms" to the Chinese Language Partner Network to reflect this change.
The Asia Society's future support for the schools involved with this program has been under review since January 2021 and no agreement with the newly formed Hanban-successor organization, the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), has been signed regarding the future of this network.
As part of this review, the Asia Society has also been considering additional and/or alternative sources of funding for Chinese language learning in American schools.
In addition to the Hanban program for schools referred to above, the Asia Society had another longstanding agreement with Hanban — also funded by the Chinese Ministry of Education — which supported activities such as training for Chinese language teachers, conferences, and early language learning.
A separate partnership with another Hanban-successor organization, the newly formed Center for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC), was signed in November 2020 for these purposes. This included a written agreement between the Asia Society’s Center for Global Education and CLEC to protect the Asia Society’s institutional independence.
The Asia Society is an independent institution which has no affiliation with any government. Funders of our work do not influence its content. If an external funder sought to bring influence to bear on an Asia Society project or program, our policy would be to suspend that project or program immediately.
The Asia Society’s Center for Global Education also receives funding from a range of American foundations and corporations to deliver its programs.
Dr. Anthony Jackson
Vice President, Education and Director, Center for Global Education