Australia-China Student Forum 2016


Forum Statement

Global citizenship has been increasingly embodying in educational visions for students and graduates from leading universities around the world. At La Trobe University, global citizenship is seen as, “knowledge and skills, showing cross-cultural awareness, and valuing human diversity. The ability to work effectively, and responsibly, in a global context”.

For Australian university students, gaining Asia Literacy, or building Asia Capability, becomes a hands-down stepping stone in fostering global citizenship. Given Australia’s geographical proximity to the neighbouring Asia, we are privileged to own an easy access to our Asian neighbours’ growing prosperity and diverse cultures at the doorstep. Besides, the concepts of Asia Literacy or Asia Capability also concomitantly promotes the common value embedded in global citizenship: understanding other cultures and learning to live peacefully with people apart from our places.

In Australian education, Asia Literacy is about “engaging with Asia in the classroom to build student knowledge, skills and understandings about our Asian neighbours and enable students to participate in, and benefit from, the Asian century” (WA Department of Education). Similarly, Asia capability means that “every student will exit schooling in Australia with knowledge and understanding of the histories, geographies, arts and literature of the diverse countries of Asia” (Asia Education Foundation). In other words, becoming Asia literate is a first and handy step in building global citizenship for most of us.

However, do most Australians understand our Asian neighbours? Australians do love Asia. It seems that most Australians embrace “Asia” as their dreamed travel destinations. However, we love holidaying in Bali, but we seem to lack an incentive to learn Indonesian as many of us believe that the rest of world is keener to communicate with us by learning English.

Furthermore, it looks like our school and university enrolments on Asian languages are still quite encouraging in Chinese and Japanese (though still trailing behind European languages like Italian, French and Spanish), but most people treat learning Asian languages just as a taste learning, lacking a strong commitment to delve into the higher level. In a nutshell, there has been an intense academic discourse warning that our understanding and policy about Asia Literacy / Capability is problematic, such as being instrumentalism in identifying the national strategic Asian languages, overemphasising the economic imperatives but neglecting cultural components in learning Asian languages.

Theme and Sub-Themes

The theme for the ACSF 2016 forum is: Under a global context, how do we gauge the situation of building Asia Literacy and Asia Capacity in Australia today?

A joint inquiry on this theme from two sides will enrich LTU students’ understanding in some interconnected domains like Chongqing, China and Asia, as well as add Australia as a lively case to expand CQU students’ knowledge in a global community. The main theme may be broken into the following questions, which have been grouped as below. However, please feel free to tackle any of them that suit your interest.

For La Trobe University students:

  1. In general, how do you evaluate Australian’s Asia Literacy and Capability since the release of Australia in the Asian Century White Paper in 2010? Is the situation getting improving, stagnating or deteriorating?
  2. How do you link your study or discipline at La Trobe University with the Asia and Global context? Please refer to La Trobe Global Citizenship: “Think about the current wider, transnational or global issues and opportunities that are currently arising in, or in relation to, your discipline/profession. In doing this, you will need to think beyond the immediate short-term focus of the discipline, and consider how aspects of the discipline/profession are being influenced and changed by wider changes beyond the local or Australian perspective.”
  3. “Asia capability is strengthened in students who also learn an Asian language” (AEF). What do you think about this statement? Should Australians just get around Asia in English when English is eagerly learnt in China and other Asian countries?
  4. Have your studied any Asian Language(s)? If yes, please elaborate your experience of learning Asian languages, what are the gains and hindrances? If no, please explain your reason(s).
  5. Asia does not necessarily mean the popular locations like Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Bali. Have you travelled to any unpopular places in Asia, with varying peoples and cultures? Please share your experiences with us.

For Chongqing University students:

  1. While Asia Literacy and Asia Capacity are buzz words in the broader Western nations in the 21st century, what make Australia a unique case apart from the US, Canada, and the UK, etc.?
  2. What are general characteristics of the major Asian languages teaching and learning (Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian, etc.) in Australian schools, universities and societies?
  3. What is the status of development of Confucius Institutes in Australia? Please provide a critical review.
  4. And do you have any suggestions for promoting Chinese language and culture among foreign learners, particularly for Australian students?

Forum Details


The ACSF forum to Chongqing is comprised of two phases:

  • Phase I: Learning and Experiencing: comprises 'topic-focused' seminars delivered by academics or professionals, student discussions, visits to key cultural, commercial and government organisations and language classes,
  • Phase II: Presentation and Dialogue: comprises keynote sessions by high profile speakers, student presentations and a dialogue on a key topic.

Interactive activities with local students and communities, cultural activities and excursions will also be included in the forum.

To achieve higher quality outcomes, La Trobe University students will be required to participate in a 20 hour pre-departure Chinese language course. The course will be specially designed for this forum and students will acquire basic language skills to assist their China experience. Exemptions will be granted only to those participants who can demonstrate language proficiency.

All participants will receive a certificate from the hosting university upon successful completion of the forum.

Number of Participants

The number of participants in this forum is up to 20 students from La Trobe University.


All currently enrolled students of La Trobe University are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants are expected to:

  • Demonstrate strong interest in intercultural and educational exchange,
  • Be willing to share ideas, experience and learning with others,
  • Be willing to commit to the activities of the program.

All participants are required to sign a Confirmation of Acceptance Form before the start of the program.


Arrival in Chongqing 20 November 2016
Departure from Chongqing 3 December 2016

University Unit Exemption/Credit Points

Students participating in the Australia-China Student Forum may be eligible to receive credit.

The School of Social Sciences will offer 15 credit points upon successful completion of the Program activities in Chongqing and the following:

  • 20 hour pre-departure Chinese language course or Book Review pre-departure 1000 words (for students who receive exemption form the language course having passed a Chinese proficiency test conducted by Confucius Institute teachers),
  • Group presentation equivalent to 1000 words,
  • Participation in the Forum and a reflective journal of 2000 words (to be submitted within four weeks after returning from China).

Students will need to approach their course coordinator concerning credit for participation.


All students will be required to arrange for and cover the following costs:

Item Indicative Cost (AUD)
Pre-departure Chinese Language Course (20 hours) $280
International return airfare (economy) ~$1,400
Travel insurance ~$100
Visa application fees ~$110
Personal Expenditure Variable

Note: Fees provided are indicative only and subject to the pricing of external service providers.

It is suggested that you take some money for emergency and/or personal shopping expenses, at least $200, and have access to a credit card or debit card for additional money, if needed.


La Trobe University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) will provide funding to cover in-country, program-related costs, including:

  • Accommodation,
  • Most meals,
  • Local group transportation,
  • Seminars,
  • In-country language and cultural classes,
  • Site visits,
  • Local tours.

Mobility Grants

If a student (both domestic and international) receives prior agreement for the assignment of 15 credit points (equivalent to one unit) exemption from their school upon successful completion of the 2016 Program, students may be eligible to receive a $500 Mobility Grant. Written approval from the course coordinator will be required to access this grant.

For more information regarding grants, please visit the La Trobe overseas short programs website, or send direct inquiries to

Asia Postgraduate Scholarship Programme

Two PG Master’s students in Business or Humanities study areas may be eligible to receive $2,000 scholarships (instead of $500) if they complete the standard short program process and meet the following criteria:

  • Postgraduate Masters-level students at La Trobe University (in Business or Humanities area),
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents,
  • Confirmed to be receiving academic credit or completing a mandatory component of your course upon completion of the ACSF.

For more information regarding funding, please send direct queries to If more than two eligible applications are received, a selection process may occur.

OS-Help Loan

Students may apply for OS-Help loan for their study overseas in formal exchanging programs. For further detailed information, please visit: Loans for overseas study.