China’s development as an influential participant in international affairs presents new challenges for Chinese organizations to enhance the incoming and outgoing international communications and related competencies of their staff and public diplomacy units. The Center for Public Diplomacy and Intercultural Communication Research is the first Guangdong Provincial university-based centre established to provide anintegrated platform for research, teaching and training for the development of such competencies.

April 9th 2015, Center of Public Diplomacy and 

Intercultural Communication Research of Guangdong Province Set Up in SIE

Its current research activities include the study of the efficacy of Confucius Institutes’ operations and outreach, international students’ cultural adaptation in China, Chinese language as a heritage language amongst overseas Chinese descendants, the cultural alignments of those descendants, the teaching of Chinese to international students, and international corporate adaptation and communication. 

International education has been rapidly developed in China as a result of educational globalization. The SCUT School of International Education sets a shining example of educational globalization as its international student enrolments have increased from 152 in 2004 to 2238 in 2014 and as it opened two Confucius Institutes (one at Lancaster University and the other at the University of Idaho). International education creates opportunities for the knowledge economy in China and provides a two-way communication channel for the achievement of mutual understanding between Chinese and the rest of the world.

Language education provides a cornerstone for the global exchanges of knowledge and culture. In international education, the English language is most often used as the medium of instruction. Currently we offer six English medium programs for international students at SCUT. At the same time we make every effort to advance our Chinese language education at home and abroad. Language is the carrier of culture and thus language learning is also culture learning. Our various Chinese language education programs offer a panoramic view of the most significant dimensions of Chinese culture to the world.

Intercultural communication competence has become increasingly important in the age of globalization. From classrooms to business meetings we often find ourselves in close contact with people from different cultures. Cultural differences often lead to understanding problems which may escalate into serious conflicts if not coped with properly. Historically, Guangdong province has served as a springboard to overseas, and this role has become even more notable since the open-door policy was adopted in 1978. In response to the influx of foreign students, visitors, and businesses, The SCUT School of International Education established a research centre for cross-cultural communication in 2006.

Corporate communication is the foundation of today’s business world. For the past thirty years, China’s economy has benefitted significantly from exports, which is exemplified by Guangdong province. In the age of globalization, exports are no longer restricted to products, information, and natural resources. Rather, intellectual property, cultural values, and national images are all embedded in exports. Corporate communication should help our national and provincial enterprises break down any geopolitical and sociocultural barriers in international business.   

Our core aims are to provide a rigorous research base and theoretical support, for the understanding of the intercultural dynamic of many forms of public diplomacy and to apply this in practical consultations for government agencies, enterprises, and higher education institutions in the development of related policies, communication strategies and practices and staff skills. 

Center of Public Diplomacy and Intercultural Communication Research consists of world-class professors and scholars from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Sweden. Our academic backgrounds extend to communication, sociology, education, language, literature, and management. We have produced a great amount of academic work (both quantitative and qualitative) in these areas. In particular we have published research articles, edited books, and monographs with regard to cultural adaptation, Confucius Institute, and Chinese language education. We also welcome all kinds of collaborations on these studies from home and abroad. 

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