24 Feb 2011

University of South Pacific to get Confucius Institute

5:05 am on 24 February 2011

A Confucius Institute is being set up at the University of the South Pacific, the first of its kind in a Pacific Island nation.

The Fiji-based university has signed an agreement with the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, which will implement the agreement on behalf of the headquarters of the Confucius Institute in Beijing.

The Vice Chancellor of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra, says the institute will mostly offer courses in Chinese language and culture.

"It's certainly very relevant because China is already a major trading partner and investment partner with the Pacific Islands and the assessment made so far is that there will be demand and we'll start small and slow and see how we go."

Professor Chandra says the new department is being funded by a grant from the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing.