The Southern Institute of Technology plans to offer Mandarin courses next year in Invercargill.
Mandarin is the most common spoken language in China.
There is also the chance for Invercargill primary and secondary schools to have lessons.
SIT deputy chief executive corporate Bharat Guha said there had been requests about offering courses. "We're putting everything together now so we will have it ready in February next year. We will also be going out to schools to see if it fits into their curriculum."
The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury, which also donated more than $10,000 in materials to the recently opened Confucius Centre at the SIT library, would pay for a tutor.
The Confucius Institute has about 400 centres in education institutions globally and helps promote the language, culture and history of China.
"We need to utilise 16 hours a week of the tutor's time so we know there is a definite demand for it," Mr Guha said. "It's great having such a resource available."
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Unitec Institute of Technology also offered qualifications in Chinese.
There was also a meeting held last week by the New Zealand China Friendship Society to discuss the possibility of opening a Southland branch of the China Friendship Society, likely to be in Invercargill.
The society's South Island vice-president, Dave Adamson, said he was "very confident" that a branch would be created.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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