The Confucius Institute at Tallinn University (CITU) operates as part of the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban). There are more than 450 Confucius Institutes operating in foreign universities throughout the world. These institutes operate in partnership with universities in China and the partner university of the Confucius Institute at Tallinn University is Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in Shanghai.
The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Estonian Embassy in China. The process was initiated in 2008 by Tõnis Lukas, the Estonian Minister of Education and Research, and the following year preparatory agreements were signed with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and the Estonian Embassy in Beijing. In March 2010, the Rector of Tallinn University Professor Rein Raud, signed a co-operation agreement with its new partner university, Guangxi University in Nanning. In December 2014, CITU changed the partner university in China to Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
In the autumn of 2010, the Confucius Institute at Tallinn University began with four new courses: two Chinese language classes in the morning, one evening class and one Chinese philosophy seminar.
Language training and weekly lectures make up only a part of the Institute’s programme. The Institute has plans to organize both popular science and extracurricular academic lectures, film nights, celebrate Chinese national holidays and develop cultural and educational co-operation between Estonia and the People´s Republic of China. Students can also take the standardized Chinese proficiency test (HSK and YCT) at Tallinn University.