ANU is expanding Asian language teaching, with an $11.6m commitment over five years to cover “less commonly taught” ones. The university says it will add Mongolian, Burmese and Tok Pisin (Melanesia) to languages it already teaches, Thai, Tibetan, Vietnamese. Hindi , Tetum, as spoken in Timor Leste and Sanskrit (spoken in India).
The nine will be available in blended-learning delivery through an ANU-Open Universities Australia partnership.
This is a big move, coming just a couple of years after a proposed restructure of the university’s School of Culture, History and Languages in 2016 was said to put teaching some languages at risk (CMM April 19 2016).
Back then Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt intervened to ensure Asian language teaching, albeit with a reducing subsidy for the school. The $11m is new money on top of the subsidy-set in 2016, originally intended to be $1m for this year.
This is a good move – every multi-lingual galah in the foreign-policy pet-shop bangs on about creating a cadre of Asian-language speaking Australians. ANU is delivering.