Victoria University: Chinese language course

Posted on 06. May, 2009 in Speeches

On Monday, 4 May, I joined some 200 protesters at Victoria University to express concern at the proposed closure of the Chinese language teaching course. Speakers at the rally included student representatives from all the universities in Melbourne, the National Union of Students and many Chinese community representatives. The decision to cease offering the course contradicts the Prime Minister’s call to make Australia the most Asia-literate country in the Western world. It is happening at a time when China has become our top trading partner. We will need more bilingual people so that we can be on an equal footing with China in our trade, business and investment dealings.

Victoria University has decided to outsource the course to the University of Melbourne. This is again illogical, because it does not make sense to expect western suburbs students to commute between classes at Victoria University and Melbourne University. The university is betraying its role to provide services locally for the western suburbs. The community is outraged at the decision, and it is calling on Victoria University, particularly the vice-chancellor, to reconsider this decision and to bring back the teaching of the Chinese language.

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