Confucius Institute Update June 2018 Edition

The Year of the Dog started brightly with the introduction of a range of programs with schools and communities on Chinese language and cultural understanding. Already a key highlight of the year has been another successful Chinese Bridge Competition (University level) in May, showcasing Mandarin speaking and cultural knowledge.

In light of the key characteristics of the Dog, being sincerity and willingness to help others, UQ CI takes pride in reflecting these attributes in its offerings to students, staff and community members both at UQ and in Queensland. UQ CI looks forward to continuing its contribution in these spaces in the second half of 2018.

Key Events of Q1/Q2 2018: 

China study tour increases research focus  

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In late June, a new group of UQ students embarked on the annual UQ Research, Study and Experience Tour to Tianjin, China arranged by the Confucius Institute at UQ. Students participating will undertake a four-week program organised in collaboration with Tianjin University to include Chinese language tuition, cultural learning, and research and practical experiences related to their field of study.

Since 2017, there has been an increased focus on practical research and study opportunities, particularly in the form of small research groups. Driven by academics from UQ and Tianjin University, the study groups aim to carry out research closely linked with projects currently being undertaken at UQ (or Tianjin). The increased focus on the practical experience aims to strengthen the benefits UQ students receive by taking part in the study tour.

The UQ Research, Study and Experience Tour has run since 2010.  

UQ CI recognised for community contributions       

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In late 2017 and early 2018, UQ CI was granted two awards for its contributions to Chinese teaching and local community events. 

The 2017 Excellence Award in Chinese Test, granted by Chinese Testing International (Hanban Confucius Institutes) was the first of its kind to be received by UQ CI, in recognition of work undertaken towards promoting the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test in Queensland schools and to the general public.  

In 2018, the Brisbane Chinese Festival Committee awarded the 2018 Outstanding Contribution Award to UQ CI for its performance and lasting contributions to the Brisbane Chinese Festival. The aim of this particular festival was to expand appreciation for Chinese culture and promote harmony in the broader community, an annual event supported by UQ CI.

UQ CI was honoured to receive these awards and be recognised for its contributions to the Queensland community.

Showcase of Chinese skills and knowledge     

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On May 19, themed One World, One Family, students from Queensland universities were again invited to showcase their Mandarin language and cultural skills at the 17th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition.

Co-organised by UQ CI, the Chinese Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane and the Tourism Confucius Institute at Griffith University, the 2018 event was held at Griffith University’s Nathan Campus.

With the overall winners invited to compete in the International final in China, in 2018 this competition encouraged a range of performances in relation to Chinese language and culture.

Chinese Bridge is held annually and welcomes university students from all Queensland universities to attend. 

Safety a priority in North Queensland  

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In February, the police services in Cairns in conjunction with UQ CI continued to focus on tourist safety through the issuing of a new safety brochure.  

Through engagement spanning over a number of years, UQ CI has been pleased to support police services in promoting a safer travel experience for visitors. The new brochure, in Chinese and English importantly has a focus on those travelling from the greater China region. Conditions in Australia can be very different from the traveller’s home environment, and initiatives such as this will help highlight areas that require a higher degree of awareness, for example in and around beaches and waterways.

UQ receives Confucius Institute Fellowship

On the recommendation and support of Professor Ping Chen, Director of UQ CI, Dr. Renuka Mahadevan, Associate Professor at UQ’s School of Economics, was successful in her application for an Understanding China Fellowship. The Fellowship, sponsored by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing supports scholars from foreign universities to undertake China-related joint research in the field of humanities and social sciences.

For more information on fellowship opportunities, go to Confucius China Studies Program.


Chinese New Year celebrations in schools and community

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To celebrate the Year of the Dog, UQ CI was again busy working with local community groups and schools to showcase Chinese culture. Importantly, the new year celebrations gave UQ CI an opportunity to connect with the North Queensland region, and in particular Cairns and Innisfail.

In February 2018, UQ CI accompanied performers to North Queensland to engage with schools and community groups through Chinese New Year performances. Also during this period, UQ CI was welcomed to a number of schools in the Brisbane region, presenting key Chinese cultural experiences such as dragon dancing and paper cutting.

Visits to schools and organisations throughout Queensland are a key part of the Institute’s offerings, particularly around major festivals.

Student experiences enhanced by UQ lecturers

In May, UQ CI in conjunction with UQ and the Education Section of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Brisbane facilitated a Workshop for publishing your research in top journals for the benefit of incoming research students into Queensland universities.

The workshop, successfully run over a number of years, again drew a large number of CSC International China Scholarship Council (and other) students who were keen to learn the fundamentals of research activity.

The workshop is part of UQ CI’s support towards advancing student experiences in Queensland, and in support of key study pathways such as the CSC program.

UQ students hit the right key

In January, UQ CI collaborated with the UQ School of Music to deliver a Summer Semester course on Traditional Chinese Music.

The course contained five lecture sessions, four workshops and one short performance session. Students from the School of Music who participated in this program were eligible for course credit (2 units). Dr. Yang Yang from Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China delivered the lectures to students over five days.

Over the past two years, University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra students have performed with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra in China. UQ CI has provided pre-departure briefing sessions to students who participated in the tours to Xi’an.

Did you know? 

According to a 2017 preliminary report on world airport traffic rankings issued by Airports Council International, Beijing Capital Airport was the second busiest airport in the world based on total passenger traffic (Enplaning and Deplaning). Beijing Capital Airport passenger growth increased 1.5 % in 2017, sitting between Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (#1) and Dubai International Airport (#3). In 2017, Shanghai Pudong International Airport (#9) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (#13) also made the Top 20 Busiest airports listings.

In 2017, Beijing Capital Airport saw almost 96 million passengers and 597,000 aircraft movements. That is some 263,000 passengers using the airport each day on average!