$1M Support For Italian Language Uni Programs

SA Gov

The Malinauskas Government has delivered on its commitment to support the teaching of Italian language in universities after signing a $1 million funding agreement with the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Flinders University.

The agreement, which runs over three years, will support Italian language initiatives that deliver a positive impact and value to South Australia, universities and students.

A key feature of the agreement is funding for study tours for eligible students, with priority given to students who would not otherwise be able to participate.

The study tours will deliver valuable in-country immersive learning opportunities and further develop Italian language proficiency.

Beyond the study tours, the universities will work together to develop initiatives that aim to increase enrolments in Italian language and improve outcomes for Italian language in South Australia.

There are almost 17,000 people living in South Australia that were born in Italy, and more than 100,000 with Italian ancestry, with members of the community playing critical roles in business, the arts and wider community.

Currently, Italian language and culture courses are delivered at Flinders University and UniSA, and students from the University of Adelaide are able to undertake Italian language courses at Flinders University.

Italian is South Australia's third most spoken language at home behind English and Mandarin. However, Italian language at the tertiary level has been impacted by fewer school students choosing to study languages in years 11 and 12, a decrease in the demand for generalist university degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts, and a decline in the number of electives students can undertake in other degrees.

Attributable Susan Close

Studying Italian at the university level in South Australia offers a multifaceted educational experience that enriches students' lives personally, academically, and professionally.

Exposure to language, culture and the Italian way of life through an immersive study tour will generate deep cultural understanding, friendships and will enhance South Australia's already strong economic ties with Italy.

Attributable Zoe Bettison

South Australia has a proud history of bilateral cooperation with Italy, including in science and technology, commerce and culture and the arts.

South Australia's Italian community has also contributed greatly to the development of South Australia so I'm pleased to see Italian language and culture being funded through our universities.

As put by Professor Colin Stirling, Flinders University Vice-Chancellor

Italians and Italian-Australians have played an integral part in the history of South Australia, proudly celebrating their rich heritage and culture. At Flinders University, we are pleased to support and strengthen these connections through our Italian language courses, made possible by this important government funding.

Learning a language not only enriches our lives but also unlocks doors to diverse cultures and global opportunities. In today's interconnected world, multilingualism is a passport to personal and professional growth.

As put by Professor Joanne Cys, UniSA Provost & Chief Academic Office

UniSA has a long history connecting with the Italian community and others interested in learning Italian.

We offer courses for students from beginner to experienced levels, and for those interested in Italian topics from arts and culture to science and engineering, as well as those looking for careers in translation and interpreting.

This initiative builds on this history, through funded in-country study tours to Italy which broaden the cultural experiences of students, increase their knowledge of Italian life, industry and innovation, and rapidly advance their fluency in Italian, preparing them to contribute more knowledgably as global citizens, in any career.

Study tours are popular with students and are an incentive to further study, so are a welcome first phase of the project.

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