Chinese corporation sponsors Chinese courses at Hungarian university

April 20, 2012

The Hungarian radio station Gazdasági Rádió reported on 19 April that Wanhua-Borsodchem, a chemicals manufacturer in northeastern Hungary that was purchased by the Chinese plastics company Wanhua in February 2011, is sponsoring courses in Chinese language and “social sciences” for all students of Miskolc University, a major regional university.

The news is interesting because it is the first instance I have come across of corporations funding such initiatives directly, rather than going through a “Confucius Institute”. It seems an example of “corporate citizenship” that is akin to the activities to some Chinese state enterprises in Southeast Asia and Africa, which help offer Chinese-language classes on a much more local, typically village, scale, but this initiative is much higher-profile. Interestingly, it is taking place in the region of Hungary where support for the extremist xenophobic party, Jobbik, is strongest.