Beijing Foreign Studies University, or BFSU, is one of China’s top universities under the direct leadership of the Chinese Ministry of Education. It is listed under Project 985, Project 211 and Double First-Class Project of China. Located in Haidian District, Beijing, it has two campuses- the West Campus and the East Campus, separated by the North Xisanhuan Road.
In 1941, BFSU was first built as the Russian Language Team in the Third Branch of Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese Military and Political College. It was later renamed as Yan’an Foreign Languages School under the direct leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the school was put under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was renamed as Beijing Foreign Languages Institute in 1954 and merged with Beijing Russian Institute in 1959. Since 1980, the Institute was put under the direct leadership of the Ministry of Education. In 1994, it took on its current name Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).
Today, BFSU teaches 101 foreign languages, more than any other Chinese universities. It is the first in China to offer courses in some less commonly taught European, Asian and African languages. While best known for its excellence in foreign languages & literature, BFSU has also launched programs in more fields such as humanities, law, economics，management，etc. BFSU now offers courses in the following languages ( in chronological order): Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Romanian, Japanese, Arabic, Cambodian, Lao, Singhalese, Malay, Swedish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Croatian, Hausa, Vietnamese, Thai, Turkish, Korean, Slovak, Finnish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish, Greek, Filipino, Hindi, Urdu, Hebrew, Persian, Slovenian, Estonian, Latvian，Lithuanian，Irish, Maltese, Bangali, Kazakh, Uzbek, Latin, Zulu, Kyrgyz, Pashtu, Sanskrit，Pali，Amharic， Nepalese， Somali， Tamil， Turkmen，Català, Yoruba, Mongolian, Armenian, Malagasy, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Afrikaans, Macedonian, Tajiki, Tswana, Ndebele, Comorian, Creole, Shona, Tigrinya, Belarusian, Maori, Tangan, Samoan, Kurdish, Bislama, Dari, Tetum, Dhivehi, Fijian, Cook Islands Maori, Kirundi, Luxembourgish, Kinyarwanda, Niuean, Tok Pisin, Chewa, Sesotho, Sango, Tamazight, Javanese, and Punjabi. To better serve China’s diplomatic efforts，we now teach all official languages of countries with diplomatic relations with China.
Today BFSU has 33 teaching and research institutions, many of which were newly launched in recent years. These new institutions include an international graduate school jointly run by BFSU and the University of Nottingham (UK), BFSU Academy of Language Sciences, BFSU Academy of Foreign Literature Studies, BFSU Academy of Regional and Global Governance, BFSU Academy of Comparative Civilization and Intercultural Communication, Beiwai College, School of Global Governance, and Graduate School of Education. Furthermore, the School of Asian and African Studies was reorganized and split into two separate schools ——School of Asian Studies and School of African Studies. BFSU also has 1 key research center for social sciences under the Ministry of Education (MOE) (National Research Center for Foreign Language Education), 1 research center under State Language Commission (National Research Center for Development of Language Aptitude), 4 centers for regional and country studies under MOE (Center for Central and Eastern European Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, British Studies Center, and Canadian Studies Center), 37 centers for regional and country studies registered at MOE, and 3 research centers for people-to-people exchanges under MOE (China-Indonesia Research Center for People-to-People Exchanges, China-France Research Center for People-to-People Exchanges, and China-Germany Research Center for People-to-People Exchanges). BFSU publishes 4 CSSCI journals (Foreign Language Teaching and Research, Foreign Literature, International Forum, and International Sinology), 1 CSSCI-expanded journal (Foreign Language Education in China), and other journals (e.g. Russian in China, Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, International Chinese Language Education，English Language Learning，Germanistische Kulturwissenschaften, Etudes Francophones, Area Studies and Global Development). BFSU also runs Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP), the largest publishing house in China for foreign language books, audio-visual products and digital products.
BFSU has 121 bachelor’s programs, 44 of which are found exclusively at BFSU in China. It also offers advanced degree programs in 6 major fields — literature, economics, management, law, education, and history, including doctoral programs under 2 subjects (foreign languages & literature; management science & engineering), academic degree programs (master) under 11 subjects (law, political science, Marxist theories, applied economics, Chinese language & literature, foreign languages & literature, journalism, management science & engineering, industry & business administration, education, and world history) and professional degree programs (master) under 8 subjects (finance，international business，Chinese language teaching，translation/interpreting， journalism & communication，law, accounting, and MBA). Foreign languages & literature program was rated as A+ in a nationwide assessment in 2017, ranking top in China. According to QS university rankings in 2018, 2 subjects — linguistics and modern languages — ranked among top 100 globally, higher than other Chinese universities. BFSU now has about 5,600 undergraduate students, about 3,100 graduate students ( master’s and doctor’s candidates), and about 1,600 international students.
BFSU attaches great importance to academic development of its faculty. It now has over 1,200 full-time teachers and supporting staff and nearly 200 foreign teachers from 60 countries and regions. Over 90% of the teachers have experiences of overseas study.
To enhance its international exposure, BFSU works in partnership with 313 universities and academic institutions in 91 countries and regions. It has cooperation programs with many foreign universities, including the University of Nottingham, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), INALCO, Moscow State Linguistic University, University of Göttingen, Sapienza University of Rome, Eötvös Loránd University, Jagiellonian University, etc. BFSU also works as a partner with foreign universities to operate 23 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in 18 countries. These Confucius Institutes and Classrooms include: Confucius Institute at Nürnberg-Erlangen, Germany; Confucius Institute in Brussels, Belgium; Confucius Institute at University of Vienna, Austria; Confucius Institute at University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy；Confucius Institute in Krakow, Poland；Confucius Institute in Liege, Belgium；Confucius Institute at Düesseldorf, Germany；Confucius Institute at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary；Confucius Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria；Confucius Institute at Palacky University, Czech Republic；Confucius Institute Munich, Germany；Kongzi Institute for the Teaching of Chinese Language at University of Malaya, Malaysia；Confucius Institute at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Republic of Korea；Confucius Institute at Barcelona, Spain；Confucius Institute at Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia；Confucius Institute at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates；London Confucius Institute, United Kingdom；Confucius Institute at University of Tirana, Albania；Confucius Institute at University of Göttingen, Germany；Confucius Institute at Oxford Brooks University, United Kingdom; Confucius Institute at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka；Confucius Institute at ESCP Europe, France; and Confucius Classroom at Maryknoll School, United States.
The BFSU Library has nearly 1.45 million copies of printed books, over 2.22 million e-books, 1,123 periodicals, and 97 databases, all in Chinese and other languages and featuring mainly on language, literature and culture. In recent years, the Library has increased its collections involving politics, law, diplomacy, economics, journalism and management. It continues to make use of the latest information technology to build an open, interconnected, smart, innovative and integrated information structure, producing a number of remarkable results such as a multilingual official website, BFSU Online, a software platform, etc. Launched in 2015, the multilingual official website operates in 50 languages. In 2018, BFSU was listed as one of the pilots under a MOE program to promote AI technology application in Chinese universities.
Guided by its motto “Learn with an open mind; Serve a great cause”, BFSU has, over the years, produced a large number of qualified professionals with language competence who, after graduation, work in and outside China as diplomats, translators/interpreters, educators, businessmen/women , journalists, lawyers, bankers, etc. Among BFSU alumni, over 400 have worked as ambassadors, and over 2,000 as counselors. BFSU is thus known as “ a cradle for diplomats”.
Today, taking advantage of its long tradition, BFSU continues to pursue excellence in an effort to build itself into a world-class university with Chinese characteristics and produce high-quality, dedicated, innovative language professionals with patriotic passion, international exposure, critical thinking and cross-culture capabilities.