China and Newcastle ties will be bolstered with tomorrow’s official opening of the Confucius Institute at the University of Newcastle.
Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions designed to promote Chinese language and culture and support local Chinese teaching.
Located on the Callaghan campus, the Confucius Institute will be just one of nine in Australia, and will reinforce educational and cultural exchange between China and the Newcastle and Hunter regions.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations), Professor Kevin McConkey, said China was the fastest growing economy in the world and it was important for Newcastle to seize every opportunity to strengthen this relationship.
“Globally, China is the largest exporter and the second largest importer and it is fast becoming the most influential economic powerhouse in the world. It is vital for Newcastle to take every chance to collaborate with this global leader,” Professor McConkey said.
“This Institute will strengthen our strong ties with China and will build on the University’s current relationships with leading Chinese institutions through research and student and staff exchange.”
The Institute will offer language training courses and engagement programs with schools and the general community, and will provide a range of other services including Chinese language teaching, language tests and cultural exchange activities.
“The Confucius Institute will be an important place for people to learn Chinese language and understand Chinese culture,” Professor McConkey said.
Appointed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Newcastle is the only Confucius Institute in Australia outside a capital city.
Central China Normal University, one of the country's premier tertiary institutions, is the official partner university for the Confucius Institute at the University of Newcastle.
For more information visit: www.newcastle.edu.au/institute/confucius-institute/
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The opening of the Confucius Institute will be held on Wednesday 11 May between 3-5pm in the Industry Development Centre (IDC). Media are welcome to attend.
For interviews with Professor Kevin McConkey, telephone Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations, 02 4985 4276.