Sydney opens NSW's first Confucius Institute
16 June 2008
In the wake of the Prime Minister's call for Australia to become the "most Asia-literate nation in the Western world", the University of Sydney is pleased to announce the launch of the first Confucius Institute in NSW.
"The Confucius Institute's establishment is very timely given the Rudd government's policy to strengthen the teaching of regional languages in high schools and at University," said Assiciate Professor Robyn McConchie, who is overseeing the Institute launch.
The Institute will be at the forefront of revitalising Chinese language and culture education in NSW schools. "We are already in talks with the NSW education department about developing teacher-enrichment programs," said A/Professor McConchie.
Professor Marie Bashir AC CV, Chancellor of the University of Sydney, has welcomed the Confucius Institute as an important contribution to developing and strengthening the relationship between China and Australia.
"Australia's strong trade partnership with China has extended the desire of the wider community to have a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture. The Confucius Institute at the University of Sydney will provide a valuable resource in this regard," Professor Bashir said.
Confucius Institute programs will include Chinese language training and workshops on understanding the business, legal and cultural aspects of China. Occasional Chinese film screenings will also be held, and the Institute will host an Olympic banquet on 16 August in MacLaurin Hall.
The Institute will become a leading Chinese cultural and language centre in NSW, catering to lifelong learning in Chinese culture and language and influencing the way these subjects are taught in primary and secondary schools, through to higher education and beyond.
The Confucius Institute operates under an agreement between the University of Sydney and Fudan University in Shanghai, in partnership with the Office of Chinese Language Council International in China (Hanban). It is jointly managed by the International Institute, Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP) and the Faculty of Arts. Fudan University President Professor Wang said the Institute "will be significant in furthering Australia and China's long friendship and connection".
What:Launch of the Sydney University Confucius Institute
When: 2pm, 17 June 2008
Where: Men's Courtyard, Old Teacher's College, Manning Road, University of Sydney Camperdown Campus.
Notes to editors
The two-hour event will commence with an opening address from Professor John Hearn, DVC-International. Key speakers are Professor Marie Bashir, Chancellor, Mr Qiu Shaofang, Consul General, People's Republic of China in Sydney, Professor Gavin Brown, Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Zhu Yongsheng, President Representative from Fudan University.
The 'Rudd Report'
When Prime Minister Kevin Rudd worked for the then premier of Queensland Wayne Goss, he developed a multi-million dollar strategy for the Keating government to promote education about Asia in schools. In 2002 the Howard government cancelled the program and Asian languages and Asian studies in schools have since declined.
Contact: Kath Kenny
Phone: 02 9351 2261 or 0434 606 100