Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes

  • Chapter 1: General Principles

    1. Confucius Institutes devote themselves to satisfying the demands of people from different countries and regions in the world who learn the Chinese language, to enhancing understanding of the Chinese language and culture by these peoples, to strengthening educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries, to deepening friendly relationships with other nations, to promoting the development of multi-culturalism, and to construct a harmonious world.

    2. This Constitution and By-Laws is applicable to all Confucius Institutes worldwide.

    3. In any other language, the name chosen to represent the Confucius Institutes must be equivalent in connotation and meaning to that of the head institute in Chinese.

    4. The Confucius Institutes are non-profit educational institutions.

    5. Adhering to the principles of mutual respect, friendly negotiations, and mutual benefit, the Confucius Institutes shall develop and facilitate the teaching of the Chinese language overseas and promote educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other international communities.

    6. The Confucius Institutes shall abide by the laws and regulations of the countries in which they are located, respect local cultural and educational traditions and social customs, and they shall not contravene concerning the laws and regulations of China.

    7. The Confucius Institutes shall not involve or participate in any activities that are not consistent with the missions of Confucius Institutes.

    8. A Confucius Institute can be established in various ways, with the flexibility to respond to the specific circumstances and requirements found in different countries.

    9. Any corporate entity outside of China capable of facilitating language instruction, conducting educational and cultural exchange activities, and meeting the requirements for application as stated in this Constitution and By-Laws may apply to the Confucius Institute Headquarters for the permission to establish a Confucius Institute.

    10. The Confucius Institutes conduct Chinese language instructions in Mandarin, using Standard Chinese Characters.

  • TopChapter 2: Business Service

    11. The Confucius Institutes shall provide the following services:

    a. Chinese language teaching;

    b. Training Chinese language instructors and providing Chinese language teaching resources;

    c. Holding the HSK examination (Chinese Proficiency Test) and tests for the Certification of the Chinese Language Teachers;

    d. Providing information and consultative services concerning China's education, culture, and so forth;

    e. Conducting language and cultural exchange activities between China and other countries.

  • TopChapter 3: The Headquarters

    12. The Confucius Institute Headquarters is a non-profit organization that has the independent status of a corporate body. It owns the proprietorship of the name, logo and brand of the Confucius Institutes. The Headquarters is the regulatory body that provides guidelines to the Confucius Institutes worldwide. The Headquarters is located in Beijing in the People's Republic of China.

    13. The Confucius Institute Headquarters shall be governed by the Council. The Council shall consist of the Chair, the Vice Chairs, the Executive Council Members, and the Council Members. Candidates for the Chair, several Vice Chairs and the Executive Council Members shall be recommended by the education administrative agency of the Chinese State Council and approved by the State Council. Among the fifteen Council Members, ten shall be the Heads of the Board of Directors of Confucius Institutes overseas. These ten members of the First Council are appointed by the Headquarters, while members of following Councils shall be elected or rotate service on the basis of the founding dates of Confucius Institutes. The other five Council Members shall be representatives of Chinese partner institutions, appointed directly by the Headquarters. The term of service of Council Members is two years. They can pursue reappointment for one term. During their tenure of office, Council Members shall not receive any payment from the Confucius Institute Headquarters. The Council shall establish positions of the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executives. The Chief Executive, who shall also be an Executive Council Member, is the legal representative of the Headquarters.

    14. The duties of the Council include: Formulating and amending the Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes, examining and approving the development strategies and plans of global Confucius Institutes, examining and approving annual reports and working plans of the Headquarters, and discussing issues of significance concerning the development of Confucius Institutes.

    15. The Council shall assemble once a year, called by the Chair. When needed, the Chair may decide to call for provisional Council Meetings or Executive Council Member Meetings.

    16. Under the leadership of the Council, the Confucius Institute Headquarters carries out its own daily operations. The duties include:

    a. Formulating development plans, criteria for the establishment of Confucius Institutes, and assessment standards for the Confucius Institutes;

    b. Examining and approving applications for the establishment of new Confucius Institutes;

    c. Examining and approving the implementation plans of annual projects, annual budgetary items, and final financial accounts of individual Confucius Institutes;

    d. Providing guidelines and making assessments to activities carried out by Confucius Institutes, supervising their operations and doing quality assurance management;

    e. Providing support and teaching resources to individual Confucius Institutes;

    f. Selecting and appointing directors and faculties from the Chinese side for individual Confucius Institutes, and training administrative personnel and instructors for these Confucius Institutes;

    g. Organizing Confucius Institutes Conferences annually;

    h. Constituting regulations and institutions for the management of the Chinese funds.

    17. The Headquarters shall establish Special Working Committees that can provide consultative suggestions to the Headquarters. Members of the Committees shall be appointed by the Headquarters.

    18. The Headquarters shall invite well-known leaders and visionaries of both China and abroad to be Senior Consultants.

  • TopChapter 4: Establishment

    19. An application for the permission to establish a Confucius Institute must satisfactorily demonstrate the following:

    a. That the applicant is a legally registered organization or corporation at the place where it is located with resources to conduct teaching, educational and cultural exchanges, and public service;

    b. That there is a demand for learning the Chinese language and culture at the applicant's location;

    c. That the personnel, space, facilities, and equipments required for language and culture instruction are available;

    d. That the capital for the establishment is in place, and that the source of funds for operation is stable.

    20. An applicant for the permission to establish a Confucius Institute shall submit an application package to the Confucius Institute Headquarters. This package shall include:

    a. An application letter signed by the principal or president;

    b. An introduction of the applicant site, its registration certificate, and the principal or president;

    c. A floor plan for the required instructional space, and lists of the relevant equipment and facilities available for the proposed Confucius Institute;

    d. A projection of market demand, managerial structure, and operational plans for the proposed Confucius Institute;

    e. A statement detailing the source, regulation, and management of the funds for the proposed Confucius Institute;

    f. Other materials required by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

    21. The Confucius Institute Headquarters will assess the application package submitted by the applicant. The assessment may include verification of the document materials, debriefings and interviews, on-site verification, and consultation with experts.

    22. Upon the approval of an application, the Confucius Institute Headquarters will sign an agreement with the applicant, thus conferring the permission for establishment and the official Confucius Institute Plaque upon that applicant.

  • TopChapter 5: Funds

    23. A newly established Confucius Institute will receive aid to its initial operation in the form of a set amount of funds provided by the Chinese Parties. The funds for its annual projects shall be raised by individual Confucius Institutes and the Chinese Parties together in a ratio of approximately 1:1 commitment in general.

    24. The aforementioned funds provided by the Chinese Parties will be managed through project management measures. Detailed measures are stipulated in Regulations for Administering the Chinese Funds for the Confucius Institutes.

  • TopChapter 6: Administration

    25. An individual Confucius Institute shall establish a Board of Directors. A Confucius Institute established under joint venture between Chinese and overseas partners shall form a Board of Directors consisting of members from both sides. The total number of members and the component ratio of the Board shall be determined through consultation.

    26. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for assessing and approving the Confucius Institute's development plans, annual plans, annual reports, project implementation schemes, budget proposals, final financial accounts. The Board shall also be responsible for appointing and dismissing Directors and Deputy Directors of the Confucius Institute.

    Appointments and dismissals of Directors and Deputy Directors shall be put on records at the Headquarters. The appointments of Directors and Deputy Directors for joint venture Confucius Institutes shall be decided upon negotiations between the Chinese and overseas partners.

    27. An individual Confucius Institute shall adopt a system in which the Director, under the leadership of the Board of Directors, shall assume the main responsibility for the Institute's daily operation and administration.

    28. The Director of a Confucius Institute shall have in-depth comprehension of Chinese current national issues, a skillful command of the language of the country in which the Institute is located, suitable administrative experiences in this position, and a strong ability to promote public affiliation and market potential.

    29. Instructors appointed by Confucius Institutes shall have professional knowledge and teaching competence required by such positions as teachers.

    30. An individual Confucius Institute, in the allotted time, shall draw up executable plans for annual projects and budget proposals, summarizing the implemental efficacy reports of annual projects and final financial accounts, and submit them to the Headquarters for examination and approval. Changes and dispositions made to the assets on the Chinese side shall be reported to the Headquarters for examination and approval. Individual Confucius Institutes shall also submit the working schedules and summaries of their annual projects to the Headquarters for archiving purposes.

    31. Confucius Institutes are not profit-making organizations, hence, income drawn from operation of the Institutes shall be used for teaching activities and improving teaching and service conditions. The accumulated income shall be utilized for sustainable development of the Institutes and may not be used for purposes otherwise.

    32. The Confucius Institute Headquarters shall be responsible for conducting assessments of individual Confucius Institutes. The Headquarters reserves the right to terminate the Agreements with those Institutes that violate the principles or objectives, or fail to reach the teaching quality standards set forth by the head establishment.

    33. The Confucius Institute Headquarters shall convene a Confucius Institute Conference annually to provide the opportunity for individual Institutes to exchange ideas and experiences, and to further study issues concerning the construction and development of the Institutes.

  • TopChapter 7: Rights and Obligations

    34. All Confucius Institutes shall enjoy the following rights:

    a. The rights set forth in the Agreement and this Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes;

    b. The right to use the Name and Logo of the Confucius Institutes;

    c. The right of priority for obtaining teaching and cultural materials or resources provided by the Headquarters.

    35. All Confucius Institutes shall observe the following obligations:

    a. The obligation to observe the measures and regulations set forth in the Agreement and this Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes;

    b. The obligation to uphold and defend the reputation and image of the Confucius Institutes;

    c. The obligation to accept both supervision from and assessments made by the Headquarters.

    36. The Confucius Institute Headquarters reserves the right to pursue legal action to affix responsibility and invoke punitive consequences on any person/party for any of the following conduct:

    a. The establishment of a Confucius Institute without permission or authorization from the Confucius Institute Headquarters;

    b. Any activity conducted under the name of the Confucius Institutes without permission or authorization from the Confucius Institute Headquarters;

    c. Any violation of the Agreement or this Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes that causes losses of capital or assets or damages or tarnishes the reputation of the Confucius Institutes.

  • TopChapter 8: Supplement

    37. Individual Confucius Institutes may constitute their own regulations and measures in accordance with this Constitution and By-Laws and submit to the Headquarters for archiving purpose.

    38. This Constitution and By-Laws of the Confucius Institutes shall be followed as guide for setting up and regulating Confucius Institute Classrooms.

    39. The Confucius Institute Headquarters reserves the right to interpret this Constitution and By-Laws.

    40. This Constitution and By-Laws shall go into effect from the date of approval set forth by the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

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