Last updated: 2015-07-09

Course Introduction

Supported by the 2011-2012 Australia-China Council Competitive Project, we started to develop an Australian Studies Course “Australian Society and Culture” as part of the Sun Yat-sen University Liberal Education Programme to be offered every semester to all interested applicants at the university.

The project started with two trial classes from the spring semester 2012, and then expanded into four parallel classes and became one of the Sun Yat-sen University Liberal Education Programme courses in Autumn 2012, sufficient to accommodate all applicants for this course now.

Through the trial classes and then later as a Liberal Education course of the university, we collected feedbacks from instructors and students as to the course contents and method of instruction and assessment. At the end of September and the beginning of October 2012, two instructors visited an Australian institution (Flinders University, with the support of Australia-China Council Competitive Project funding) to do classroom observations and collected additional teaching materials needed, and with the help of our Australian colleagues, we compiled a book of readings Australian Society and Culture for this course.

The course “Australian Society and Culture” is now an integral part of the Sun Yat-sen University Liberal Education Programme offered regularly (every semester) to all interested applicants at the university. The course has helped increase students’ awareness of Australian society and culture and has generated interest in Australian Studies at Sun Yat-sen University. So far, a total of 8 class groups (about 300 students) have participated in this course. This has great significance, because by offering a course on Australian Society and Culture to students from all disciplinary areas as part of a liberal education programme we have not only generated interest in Australian studies but also encouraged discussion among students and scholars with respect to different aspects of Australian culture and society, as evidenced by students’ writing assignments on different aspects of Australian studies.