The newest addition to Charles Darwin University's language programs, the Chinese In-Country language program, has received a $10,000 grant from the Northern Territory Government.
In awarding the funding the Chief Minister of the NT, Paul Henderson MLA, said the Territory had strong ties of friendship, culture and commerce with the People’s Republic of China.
“The commitment and capacity of Territory businesses and the education and cultural exchanges undertaken by CDU and Chinese institutions also contribute substantially to our strong relationship with China and our mutual economic growth,” Mr Henderson said.
The Chinese In-Country program, held at Hainan University in southern China, allows students to complete a full unit of Mandarin Chinese study in four intensive weeks. The Chinese program is similar to the in-country programs already in place for Greek and Indonesian Language students studying at CDU.
Head of CDU’s School of Creative Arts and Humanities, Associate Professor Bill Wade said the in-country program was more than a language learning course.
“The Chinese In-Country program is an intercultural experience equipping students to live and work in the global community as well as advancing their proficiency in Mandarin,” he said.
He said he expected the grant would fund scholarships for CDU students to take part in the program.
Already, Hainan University academic Associate Professor Chen Zongmin is teaching Chinese at CDU’s Casuarina campus. She will lead the group of students for the inaugural program which starts on 23 November.
Earlier this year, Dr Chen led a group of 10 Australian students to China for the inaugural exchange.
In July 2009, research, teaching and cultural links between the NT and China were strengthened after CDU and Hainan University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover and his Hainan University counterpart, Professor Li Jianbao, signed the MoU during Professor Glover’s visit to the country.
Professor Glover said the MoU would support the development and profile of the universities and assist them to thrive in the 21st Century.
“We are also investigating the opportunity for a Confucius Institute to be established at CDU under the instruction of Haida staff,” Professor Glover said.