As one of the earliest Confucius Institutes in Australia, the University of Sydney Confucius Institute (USCI) was established by Fudan University and the University of Sydney in 2009.
The University of Sydney has been supporting Chinese studies since years ago. It was the first Australian university to offer degree courses in the study of the Chinese language and now it has incorporated the Department of Chinese Studies into its prestigious School of Languages and Cultures as well as the China Studies Centre, a special cross-disciplinary institute that draws on the expertise of more than 200 of the University’s academics.
Our Institute has honored its commitment to bring understanding and celebration of Chinese culture to the larger Sydney population. The University and the Confucius Institute are lucky that the city of Sydney is vastly multicultural. The city is home to many Chinese-born Australians and people of Chinese descent.
Our belief that the best understanding of China and its cultures can be gained not by looking at a “frozen” or “typical” historical image, but by appreciating the dynamism and the massive modern forces that are shaping China.
Our cultural programs always combine the historical and the new. What’s new? New scholarship, new thinking, new art. Wu Man, a former artist-in-residence, is typical example. Her pipa performances embrace the modern and a fresh take on the traditional. Likewise, our guest artists guzheng player Bai Yang, composer and conductor Tan Dun, guqin master Jin Wei, celebrated erhu player Tan Wei and many others have offered us new views. We’ve hosted a lecture from Hugo Award winning novelist Liu Cixin as part of investigations into new Chinese literature. Celebrated artists such as Tianli Zu are invited to lead innovative, practice-based, art and calligraphy courses.
Working with Fudan University allows USCI to refine our very specific character and way of thinking. With support of Fudan University, we have established a successful Confucius Classroom with The King’s School, one of Australia’s leading secondary colleges.
Fudan University has been an instrumental partner in our international Contemporary Overseas Chinese Literature Conference (2011). Our presentations were around Chinese Culture and New Media with Fudan academic (and USCI Deputy Director) Yan Feng (2015).
Fudan University has also been a vital player in the strengthening the links between the city of Shanghai, USCI and the University of Sydney. It has not only hosted many students’ annual study tours to Shanghai, but also facilitated visits involving government or educational delegations in our cities.