UNSW will spearhead a government-funded initiative to increase the study of Korean language and culture.

The University's Korea Australasia Research Centre will lead six other institutions in developing the initiative, which has been awarded almost half a million dollars.

UNSW has one of the largest Korean studies programs in the country.

The project Towards the Establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Korean Language and Studies Education and Research is in line with the Federal Government's aim to increase the number of Australians studying Asian languages and culture.

"I would like to see more students become interested in undertaking post-beginners level Korean language courses in schools and universities," says the leader of the project Dr Gi-Hyun Shin, from the School of Languages and Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

"I would also like to see more students at schools become systematically exposed to Korean affairs, become intellectually interested in Korea, and undertake a Korean Studies major when they get to universities," he says.

The project includes a series of workshops and an analysis of current teaching materials.

The partners are Seoul National University, Curtin University of Australia, Australian National University, Asia-Pacific Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Korean Language Teachers Association and Korean Studies Association of Australasia.

This was one of seven projects sharing in $2.75 million to boost Asian languages and cultures, announced by the Federal Government.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton | 9385 1583 | susi.hamilton@unsw.edu.au