19 November 2010

Australia’s first science and technology focused Confucius Institute will be officially opened at The University of Queensland (UQ) today (Friday, 19 November 2010).

The UQ Confucius Institute was established through a partnership with Chinese science and technology institution, Tianjin University, and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in China. The Chinese, Australian and Queensland Governments have also provided support for its formation.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor, Paul Greenfield, said the Institute aligned with the University’s goals of enhancing its contributions to global innovation and problem solving.

“UQ takes great pride in hosting a Confucius Institute, and is privileged to partner an institution that is as distinguished as Tianjin University,” Professor Greenfield said.

“The UQ Confucius Institute strengthens our global network of excellent partners in discovery and learning, and will bring together scholars from many disciplines to address global challenges.

“It will also give UQ students and staff new opportunities for international immersion and promote a culture of undergraduate research.

“The Confucius Institute is a benchmark for 2010, because this is UQ’s centenary and the Institute embodies many qualities that we must maximise in our second century.”

Attending the official opening of the UQ Confucius Institute will be Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China to Australia, His Excellency Mr Chen Yuming; Chair of Administrative Council, Tianjin University, Professor Liu Jianping; and Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Craig Wallace.

UQ Confucius Institute Director, Professor Ping Chen, said the institute had a unique focus on intermeshing language and culture with science, engineering and technology.

“The UQ Confucius Institute will generate increased interest in Chinese studies by Australian students, and strengthen science, engineering and technology linkages,” Professor Chen said.

“We will also be offering a range of new courses, including courses in Chinese language and culture and English-Chinese translations and interpretation of science publications.

“As part of our cultural programs, the Institute will host public lectures in Chinese language and culture across a range of disciplines, including Chinese medicine, painting, calligraphy, architecture, martial arts and Chinese cuisine.

Key aims of the UQ Confucius Institute will be to:

• Facilitate academic and student exchange between UQ and Chinese universities and research institutions;
• Support and initiate teaching and research programs in Chinese studies at UQ and in the broader community;
• Promote science and technology collaboration between Australia and China;
• Host forums and guest lectures by science and technology scholars, and experts in Chinese studies and Australia-China relationships; and
• Encourage bilateral high-level government and corporate visits.

Media: Professor Ping Chen (07 3365 6341, p.chen@uq.edu.au) or Kathy Grube at UQ Communications (07 3346 0561, k.grube@uq.edu.au)