December 2016 marked the end of another busy and productive year for the Confucius Institute at UQ (UQ CI). In July, UQ CI hosted the regional conference for Oceania Confucius Institutes, kick-starting a host of activity in the second half of the year that included a range of Australia-China engagement as well as offerings to the local Queensland community. The institute further consolidated key partnerships with local schools and education providers during this period and looks forward to their continued development in 2017. Cultural and language events for UQ students, academics, and community members in 2017 will aim to build upon their success in 2016.
Key Events of Q3/Q4 2016:
UQ CI hosts the CI Regional Conference
From July 9-10, UQ CI proudly hosted the annual Joint Conference of Oceanian Confucius Institutes in Brisbane, Queensland. UQ CI welcomed over 60 delegates from CI’s in Oceania as well as Chinese government, education and university representatives to Brisbane for key discussions on education development and Chinese learning strategies.
Being the first time to host such a prestigious event, UQ CI was highly appreciative of the support and attendance of key senior UQ staff including Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and International) Professor Anton Middelberg and HASS Executive Dean Professor Tim Dunne.
Conferences such as this provide an important avenue to review and develop opportunities in the Chinese culture and learning space regionally, and to benefit local students and communities in particular.
Chinese Etiquette Sessions a hit in QLD
In the second half of the year, CI again delivered a range of sessions on Chinese culture and etiquette to both Queensland community groups and within UQ with great success. On August 16, UQ CI in partnership with the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) and UQ Business School held a joint workshop on China opportunities. CI spoke on “Chinese Culture, Business practice, Government systems and Negotiation” as part of the workshop agenda attended by a large and diverse local business community.
Additionally, the Institute held a series of sessions for Queensland based community groups on a request basis, helping members in key roles gain a better understanding of Chinese cultural practices. UQ CI also engaged with UQ staff on similar topics in November, run within UQ’s staff development platform.
UQ CI presents at CI Conference
The Confucius Institute at UQ was honoured to again be invited to present during a Director’s Forum session at the 11th Confucius Institute Conference held in Kunming, Yunnan Province in December 2016.
UQ CI Senior Deputy Director Dr. Geoff Chen spoke on education quality and benchmarking during the Director's Forum on ‘The Quality Evaluation of Confucius Institutes’. The session, like many others during the conference contained speakers and panellists from Institutes and universities based in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania.
Cultural and Taichi Courses at UQ
Commencing in September, the Confucius Institute conducted a free 5 session course on Culture and Modern China for UQ students. The course was well received, offering sessions on numerous topics related to China including geography, food, the arts, and societal characteristics. The course aimed to provide a general background into Chinese culture targeting students with basic to intermediate experiences in Chinese/culture and language.
Also commencing in September were Taichi sessions at the St. Lucia campus open and free to the UQ community. As a well-known and symbolic representation of the Chinese culture, the art of Taichi has gained in popularity, particularly for its physical and mental benefits. The Confucius Institute at UQ has over a number of years provided Taichi classes, and plans to do so again in 2017. Visit the UQ CI website for details.
Tianjin University speaks at Brisbane Conference
Former Chair of the University Administrative Council, Tianjin University, Professor LIU Jianping accepted UQ CI’s invitation to deliver a guest presentation as part of the Queensland Chinese Association of Scientists and Engineers (QCASE) 2016 Australia-China Science, Technology, Commercialisation and Innovation Forum on November 28. Professor Liu’s presentation was themed on China’s latest policies in strengthening partnerships between Chinese universities and industry and business sectors, as well as industry collaborations and the commercialization of research findings obtained by universities.
UQ CI in partnership with Tianjin University continues to develop avenues for exchange and collaboration in relation to China and Chinese language learning. Students are advantaged by this partnership with the opportunity to attend an annualUQ Research, Study and Experience Tour to China (Tianjin). Visit the UQ CI website for details.
Research Workshop for students new to QLD
In December, the Confucius Institute co-facilitated and sponsored a workshop at UQ promoting a foundational understanding of research processes and resources as well as guidance on research publication in academic journals. The workshop encouraged Brisbane-based Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) RHD (Research Higher Degree) students and researchers in Science, Engineering and Technology to attend. Over 120 participants attended the workshop, up significantly on previous years.
UQ CI acknowledges and thanks the Consulate-General of The People's Republic of China in Brisbane and QCASE for their sponsorship as well as all guest speakers and the UQ library for their participation and expertise.
Did you know?
2017 will see in the Year of the Rooster. The Rooster, one of the 12 year Chinese Zodiac signs, is believed to be synonymous with the characteristics of being honest, bright, communicative and ambitious.
This year’s Chinese New Year (春节 chunjie), according to the Chinese lunar calendar, falls on January 28. It is a time of year which traditionally welcomes gatherings with family. A range of Chinese delicacies are also enjoyed during this particular festival period.