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Irene Codina Altarriba,

A new partnership with Instituto Cervantes Sydney will see RMIT take the lead in promoting Spanish language and Hispanic culture in Melbourne.

The agreement signing marks the beginning of a collaboration spanning research, language and cultural activities between the two institutions and see RMIT become a reference for Spanish language teaching.

Established by the Spanish Government in 1991, Instituto Cervantes is the global leader in the teaching and promotion of Spanish language and culture, with 88 centres around the world in more than 45 countries.

RMIT has been a ‘resource centre’ for the Spanish Ministry of Education for the last 10 years through its Spanish Language program and the institute's language courses will be incorporated into specific programs for RMIT students destined for study in Spanish-speaking countries.

The new partnership is a continuation of RMIT’s important links with the Hispanic community through meaningful research and industry collaboration, which are led by the University’s European innovation hub in Spain, RMIT Europe.

RMIT Europe’s impact and contribution to scientific, academic and cultural exchange between Spain and Australia was recently recognised by the 2022 Malaspina Award awarded by the Spanish Embassy in Australia and the Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific Association. 

RMIT's Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Engagement, Saskia Loer Hansen, said it was exciting to be partnering with Instituto Cervantes.

"We’re proud to be the partner for Instituto Cervantes in Melbourne to extend their presence in Australia," she said.

"This is a great opportunity to strengthen RMIT’s existing global reach and connection and it’s wonderfully timed as we celebrate 10 years since the establishment of RMIT Europe in Barcelona.

"RMIT continues to be committed to strengthening links between Australia and Spain and providing leadership in Australia in relation to Spanish language and culture; the activities of this partnership will mean more opportunities in Melbourne for engagement with Hispanic culture.”

With its expanding presence in Australia, Instituto Cervantes will provide Spanish face-to-face cultural and language lessons in Melbourne in 2023 to complement its existing offering in Sydney, where the institute opened in Australia in 2009. 

Spanish writer and Director General of Instituto Cervantes, Professor Luis García Montero, travelled to Melbourne to visit the RMIT facilities where the new centre will be located, which includes a space in the library.

The renowned Spanish academic, poet and literary critic said he hopes Spanish will be regarded as a language that reflects the rich cultural Hispanic heritage in Australia and known not only as a literary language but as a scientific and technological one too.

"Australia plays a key role in the international dialogue to establish ties between cultures and countries that share democratic values and a vision of the future based on knowledge, science and human rights," he said.

"It's a country with a remarkable international significance and this is a great opportunity to promote Spanish as a language that unites the entire Hispanic community." 

The two entities will also collaborate in the promotion of international mobility agreements for students and academic staff as well as in talent attraction programs, cultural projects and the promotion of science to strengthen links between Australia and Spain in research.


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