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The Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry is a joint project of SUNY College of Optometry, Wenzhou Medical College and the Chinese government through Confucius Institute Headquarters (also known as Hanban), a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Confucius Institutes are now funded at nearly 400 institutions worldwide for the purpose of stimulating learning about Chinese language and culture.  Each funded institution partners with an institution of higher education in China.  SUNY College of Optometry’s partner is Wenzhou Medical University with which it already has several other programmatic initiatives.

The Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry provides programs and courses in Chinese language and culture with special emphasis on the healthcare system in China. Classes are open to SUNY students and faculty as well as to the general public and are particularly applicable for anyone who plans on working or studying in any of the healthcare fields or in biomedical research in China.  The learning experience will enable these individuals to have a better understanding of the culture of providers and patients and of existing practices such as traditional Chinese medicine.

The Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry is the first such entity established at an optometric institution, and it is also the first one established at a specialized health professions institution of any type.