The University of Sydney Confucius Institute
By Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Chairman of the Confucius Institute Board
The University of Sydney Confucius Institute was established in 2008 to cultivate a better understanding of Chinese culture in Australia. In the past five years, we have focussed on promoting Chinese language teaching and community outreach programs, including public lectures and cultural events that engage with China’s long history and diversity from a variety of standpoints.
In 2012, the Confucius Institute partnered with the University’s Centre for Continuing Education to cater to the growing interest in China and the Chinese language by offering an extensive range of courses. This year we are expecting 600 students to study Chinese language with us.
The University is committed to spreading our passion and understanding of Chinese culture to the greater Sydney community. In the past five years, the Confucius Institute has partnered with organisations such as the City of Sydney, NSW Department of Education and Communities, the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Festival and Sydney Conservatorium of Music to organise a variety of high-quality Chinese cultural events to bridge the cultural gap and celebrate the friendship between Chinese and Australian people.
Some of our successful events include Chinese opera performances, Gu Qin concerts, Chinese folk song concerts, Chinese arts and calligraphy exhibitions, and Tai Ji national competitions. Our public lecture series have sparked conversations and debates on a range of topics, from ‘Chinese Traditional Medicine and Well-being’ and ‘The History of Chinese Cuisine’ to ‘Political Legitimacy in China: A Confucian Perspective’. Our events have been attended by thousands of university staff, students and members of the public. Our partnership with Fudan University in China has enabled us to pool our resources and host several international academic conferences offering Chinese and Australian scholars an opportunity to exchange ideas and share their research.
We are delighted to have renewed our five-year agreement with the Confucius Institute Headquarters and look forward to continuing to contribute to a better understanding of China in Australia.