China’s First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan has visited UNSW’s Confucius Classroom as part of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Australia.
Madame Peng’s tour was the only visit to an educational facility by the Chinese Presidential delegation during their Australian visit, which included attending the G20 meeting in Brisbane.
The classroom, a partnership between the UNSW Confucius Institute and Ravenswood School for Girls, is the first Confucius Classroom in a non-government school in New South Wales and the first affiliated with UNSW.
UNSW provides Chinese language learning resources and Chinese teachers to Ravenswood through its partner university, China’s prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong.
Madame Peng was accompanied by a senior delegation including Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Iain Martin and Confucius Institute Director Laurie Pearcey.
The First Lady participated in a Chinese lesson and listened to Chinese folk songs performed by the Ravenswood choir.
“Madame Peng’s visit is a reflection of UNSW’s role as a leader in strengthening the quality of Chinese language education in schools,” Mr Pearcey said.
The Confucius Institute initiative is China’s flagship program to promote Chinese language and culture. There are almost 500 Confucius Institutes and more than 700 Classrooms in 120 countries around the world.
“For UNSW the Confucius Classroom is all about creating an enduring link between the Chinese language learning experience at high school and studying Chinese at university,” said Mr Pearcey.
Media contact: Fran Strachan, UNSW Media Office, 9385 8732, 0429 416 070