China at Illinois

"Illinois has a long and rich relationship with China, and we are honored to have so many exceptional Chinese students on our campus. This office will allow us to continue to build on and grow the many and strong relationships with Chinese alumni, businesses, and academic institutions, as part of a broader global engagement strategy," said Interim Associate Provost for International Affairs Bryan Endres, who was part of the team celebrating the opening of the Shanghai office on December 9, 2013.


Chicago Tribune features highlight new student orientations, relationship with China and more:

Ceremony to marks establishment of Confucius Institute at Illinois

Officials from Jiangxi Normal University in Nanching, China, and the University of Illinois signed an agreement establishing a Confucius Institute at the Urbana campus during an event Nov. 21, 2013.

For over a century, the University of Illinois has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of engagement with China. In fact, between 1910 and 1950, more than 25 percent of all Chinese students who came to the United States to pursue their higher education chose to attend the University of Illinois. Today, the University of Illinois ranks second among all universities in the U.S. with respect to the number of international students enrolled, with a significant portion coming from China.

To view a documentary about the long history between the university and China, visit:

From China to Urbana-Champaign

Illinois offers academic expertise on China across the breadth of the disciplines and professional fields, coordinated under the umbrella of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, a federally-supported National Resource Center. We are home to an extensive and increasingly integrated array of academic partnerships that encompass engagements with China’s top national and key regional universities.

Here are just some China resources available at Illinois:

Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Comprehensive National Resource Center in partnership with Indiana University East Asian Studies Center. CEAPS is one of the most vibrant interdisciplinary programs on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CEAPS supports teaching and research on topics related to Asia Pacific across all disciplines, and works actively with all academic units and student groups to promote and enhance campus-wide understanding of Asia Pacific.

China Executive Leadership Program

China Executive Leadership Programs (CELP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has provided superior executive education programs for senior officials and managers from Chinese businesses and government agencies since 1993. CELP has hosted almost 200 delegations. More than 4,000 high-level business leaders, scientists, government officials, bankers, and academicians from every region of China have graduated from the China Executive Leadership Programs.

Chinese Student and Scholars Association (in Chinese)

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) is the official organization for overseas Chinese students and scholars registered in most colleges, universities, and institutions outside of China. CSSA is mostly responsible for helping away-from-home Chinese in their life, study, work, and other issues. CSSA also serves as a bridge between the Chinese and other communities, spreading Chinese culture.

The CSSA @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is a chapter within the CSSA organization. We are responsible for providing the opportunities for the students and scholars of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the general public to explore the Chinese cultures through building friendships with the Chinese students and scholars.

East Asian Languages and Cultures

East Asian Languages and Cultures is a department in the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The department offers the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) major and minor, Master of Arts (M.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The department offers courses in the languages, literatures, societies, and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea.

Greater China Initiative-College of Education Office of International Programs

The College of Education is expanding its presence and outreach in Asia through a new program called the Greater China Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative, which allows for a College staff member to be based in Shanghai for the 2012-13 academic year, is to advance both the global influence and the international impact of the College of Education by promoting faculty expertise, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, non-degree certificate programs, contract projects, and alumni events there.

Notable Illinois Alumni from China

Yi Gang (易纲):
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Dr. Yi obtained his Ph.D in Economics in 1986. He is the Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China.


Ang Lee (李安):
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Ang Lee was born in Taiwan. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in theatre in 1980. He is a film director, screenwriter and producer. Lee has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life of Pi (2012).



Chu Coching (竺可桢):
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Chu Coching graduated from College of Agriculture in 1913. He was a prominent Chinese meteorologist, geologist and educator. He was assigned vice president of Chinese Academy of Science in 1949, and elected academician of Chinese Academy of Science in 1955.



Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun (梁刘柔芬)
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Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun was born in Hong Kong. She obtained Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1969. She was a member of Legislative Council of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s Deputy of the 10th, 11th and 12th National People’s Congress.



Huang Wan-Li (黄万里)
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Huang Wan-Li obtained his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering in 1937. He was expert in hydrology and Professor Emeritus of Hydraulic Engineering in Tsinghua University.


Steve Chen (陈士骏) 
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Steve Chen was born in Taipei. He studied computer science in University of Illinois. Chen is a co-founder of Youtube and currently owns company named Mixbit.