Petitioning Curtin University Pro-Vice Chacellor, Humanities Professor Majella Franzmann

Curtin University Pro Vice-Chancellor Majella Franzmann : Prioritize Chinese, Japanese and Asian Studies majors as "strategic areas"!

Given the significance of commercial, technological and cultural exchange between Australia and Asia, the eradication of these majors denies students vital educational opportunities to secure a better future.

Letter to
Curtin University Pro-Vice Chacellor, Humanities Professor Majella Franzmann
Recently, I have learned of a decision to eliminate Chinese, Japanese and Asian Studies majors from the Humanities curriculum. The underlying issue does not appear to involve classroom viability. With the rising prominence of China, commercial, technological and cultural exchanges have prompted an increasing number of students in Australia and worldwide to acquire Chinese language skills to secure a future within these expanding parameters of exchange. Despite Japan’s economic woes, its longstanding relationship with Australia has always generated students’ ongoing interest in its language and culture. Units in Asian Studies provide students with an invaluable background that enables them to successfully interact with Asian educational, commercial and cultural entities. Students who graduate Asian Studies with an Asian language major have many possibilities opening up for them in the current global market economy.

It is for this reason that I feel it necessary to express my profound dissatisfaction with the decision to jettison such a vital component of any contemporary Humanities program of tertiary education. I find it very difficult to perceive any educational rationale for such a short-sighted decision. These units are not only presently viable, their potential for increasing numbers in the future would seem obvious to any discerning educator. It is a shame that LOTE appears to be so undervalued at Curtin; it represents a shortcoming that, with increasing globalization and intercultural exchanges, will only detract from Curtin’s purported motto to “look ever forward”. Rather than eliminating these majors, they should be expanded and promoted if Curtin is to fulfill that promise of a future espoused in the aforementioned motto.

I strongly urge you to reconsider what appears to be a hasty and ill-conceived decision, and to reinstate these majors back into the Humanities curriculum.

Thank you in advance for your attention and consideration.