The Australian Academy of the Humanities hopes to help strengthen ties between Australia and China through a year-long project to map Australia’s research and training capacity in China studies and identify areas for improved knowledge-building and capacity.
The Academy’s Executive Director, Dr Christina Parolin, said that while the rise of China had contributed to Australia’s prosperity and diversity economically, socially and culturally, there was a growing recognition that Australia’s capacity for independent and integrated research and training in China Studies had not kept pace with recent developments and challenges.
‘The extent to which we can build our understanding and exchange between Australia and China is contingent on our contemporary depth of knowledge and expertise,’ Dr Parolin said. ‘The time for strategic thinking about how to enrich Australia’s knowledge of China in the 21st century is well overdue.’
The project, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will review Australia’s current needs and existing capacities in research and training about China, while also identifying areas of excellence and gaps in our current capability.
‘Australia’s capacity to engage effectively with China relies on robust, up-to-date and independent information about China, and the capacity of Australia’s higher education system to train personnel, conduct research and communicate evidence-based findings for all the key stakeholder groups,’ Dr Parolin said.
‘At present there are critical gaps in our understanding of the capacity of Australia’s universities to meet these needs. This project will survey our research and training capacity to effectively engage with, and understand the needs of, all the key stakeholders involved in our important Australia-China relationship.’
It is anticipated the findings from the study will help Australia to identify and promote areas for stronger connections and practical cooperation, while enabling Australian governments, universities, industries and communities to develop informed engagement strategies, build on existing strengths, and address knowledge deficits.
The Academy is proud to be a National Foundation for Australia-China Relations grant recipient.