Yearly Archives: 2010

Research Universities in China: Pressures & Challenges – November 2010

This guest lecture from Prof Shen Li of Fudan University, Shanghai is based on Professor Shen’s reflections on the many students she has taught at Fudan University in the past decade. A thumbnail picture emerges of the prevailing trends among young students in their 20’s as they come and go on campus.

To the fore of their minds is the risk of being pushed to the sidelines, as the legion of students, undergraduate and postgraduate alike, strives to achieve academic excellence and retain their integrity.

Sentiments generally called 浮躁 (fú zào) in Chinese, which include anxiety, uncertainty, and restlessness, are creeping in – largely due, in Professor Shen’s view, to the widespread social maladies known as ‘get-rich-quickism’ , ‘cutting corners’, and ‘easy gains with little effort’.

Professor Shen Li is based in the College of Foreign Language and Literature at Fudan University, Shanghai where she specialises in Metaphor Studies and Second Language Acquisition.

DATE: Tuesday 30 November 2010
TIME: 2.30pm-3.15pm
VENUE:Confucius Institute for Scotland, Abden House

Lunchtime Talk-John Dudgeon – November 2010

Guest speaker Prof Gao Xi from Fudan University, Shanghai will mark the life of John Dudgeon who at one time was the most famous doctor in Beijing in her lunchtime talk on Tuesday 30th November 2010.

This famous physician was a son of Glasgow and student of Edinburgh.
In the mid 19th century it was said `From the emperor and officials down to the common people, there was practically no one who did not know about his good work in establishing hospitals`.

John Dudgeon was a son of Glasgow, a student at Edinburgh and at one time was the most famous doctor in Beijing, China. In 1863 with his wife in China with his wife in Shanghai in 1863 in the capacity of a medical missionary of London Medical Missionary Society.

His notable achievements include:

  • The opening in 1865 of Peking Hospital
  • implementation of a new model for medical instruction in China
  • the translation of `Gray’s Anatomy` into Chinese

He studied Chinese healing arts and explored the new diseases in Beijing before contributing his research to the Western world, especial to Edinburgh`s medical profession.

In 1884 Dudgeon resigned from the London Missionary Society and concentrated his efforts on modern medical education and the study of Chinese medical culture. He was a medical cultural exchange emissary between China and the Western World in the 19th century.

John Dudgeon died in 1902 and was buried in Beijing in where he had lived for more than 38 years.

Join us to hear more of the work and impact of this 19th century physician.

DATE: Tuesday 30 November 2010
TIME: 1.10pm-2pm
VENUE: 27 George Square, Celtic and Scottish Studies Conference Room, first floor
SPEAKER: Professor Gao Xi, History Department, Fudan University, Shanghai

Confucius Institute leads world

For the fourth consecutive year, the University’s Confucius Institute has been honoured as ‘Institute of the Year’.

The Institute of the Year 2010 Award was collected in Beijing by Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea. It was bestowed upon the Confucius Institute for Scotland by Hanban, sponsor of the global network of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.

The prizegiving was a highlight of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifth Worldwide Conference of Confucius Institutes on Friday, 10 December.The ceremony, at the China National Convention Centre, was chaired by Chinese State Councillor Liu Yandong and Minister of Education, Yuan Guiren.

The Principal received the award in front of an audience of more than 3000 people including VIPs from foreign embassies, senior government officials and principals from universities around the world.

Both the Principal and the Director of the Confucius Institute, Professor Natascha Gentz, gave presentations at the President’s and Director’s Forums on the following day of the Worldwide Conference.

Many institutions recruit Chinese students or provide language training. What sets the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the University apart is the depth of our engagement – we actively promote new cultural ties and educational links between Scotland and China. This award shows that our approach is recognised and rewarded at the highest levels.” Professor Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

World leading activities

There are now 322 Confucius Institutes and 369 Confucius Classrooms in 96 countries, serving almost 400,000 learners.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh was established in 2005 as a partnership between the University and Fudan University in Shanghai.

The Institute’s work in 2010 included hosting a touring exhibition on the city of Shanghai and the 2010 Expo and working in partnership with China’s Ministry of Culture to bring ethnic performers to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These were among the highlights of a packed schedule of conferences, lectures and film screenings. The institute also runs a programme of Chinese language classes.

Shanghai Museum curator talk – October 2010

Shanghai Museum is one of the famous in China housing a diverse and accessible collection of over 120,000 pieces.

The Institute is delighted to host a special lecture by Ms Bao Yanli, Head of the Ethnography and Textiles who will share with us her knowledge and love of Gu Embroidery (Gu Xiu) in a talk on Tuesday 26 October from 6.30-7.30pm.

This is a lesser known art form which originated in one family during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644. In Gu Xiu the artist combines embroidery needlework skills with those used for traditional Chinese painting. This style proved very influential and remained popular until the late 18th century. It is today enjoying a resurgence.

This talk will be in Chinese with translation.

VENUE: Confucius Institute for Scotland
DATE : Tuesday 26th October 2010
TIME : 6.30pm-7.30pm

Join in – Membership Programme

To gain access to a wide range of services and resources, enrol now in membership.

The membership scheme has a number of benefits – benefits for members and for the Institute, more efficiencies and the ability to offer more services.

A summary of benefits is shown below. For full details please see the Membership section of the website.

Access to Confucius Institute services designed to simplify engagement with China

Borrowing rights at the Institute and University libraries

Advance booking options and privileged invitations

Regular updates

Individual membership for one year costs just £25 with a concession price of £10. The Institute is not for profit and our aim in introducing this membership package is to find a more effective way to deliver value and services to those people who support the aims of the CIS. If you share our aims to build bridges and enhance understanding of China please take out membership today. Register today!

Video Conference classes

This autumn students in Argyll, Elgin and Lewis will have the opportunity to learn Chinese with the Confucius Institute for Scotland in partnership with UHI Millenium Institute.

Following a successful pilot last year this autumn will see Video Conference classes running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Students who enrol for these classes will have the opportunity of a face to face meeting with their tutor prior to the first class before meeting via the video conferencing network.

Last year`s pilot group of students and their teacher found the experience very satisfying and excellent progress was made by the students. While last year we offered a taster session this year`s students will be able to progress each term to the next level of learning.

Classes cost £135 which includes learning materials with a concession rate of £110.

More information is available from the Institute or from our local partners as shown below.

Lews Castle College, Stornoway Tuesday 6.30-8.30pm
Catherine Donald T: 01851 770 202

Moray College, Elgin, Wednesday 6.30-8.30pm
Helen Ospazuk T: 01343 576 326

Argyll College Thursday 6.30-8.30pm
Contact: Helen Gillies T: 01631 559 675

Students can also book directly with the Confucius Institute for Scotland by downloading and returning the booking form here.

Shanghai Exhibition at Scottish Parliament – September 2010

September sees the Institute`s touring exhibition on Shanghai and the 2010 Expo sited at the Scottish Parliament. The exhibition will be sited in the MSP`s lobby, the gathering point for MSP entering and leaving the debating chamber.

Since its first appearance in February 2010 at Atlantic Quay, the Exhibition has been seen by an estimated 50,000 people in locations including Atlantic Quay, Victoria Quay, the University of Edinburgh`s main library, Ocean Terminal and finally the Scottish Parliament.

Relating the story of Shanghai`s growth from a small fishing village to a world city hosting the world`s largest ever Expo, the exhibition and accompanying leaflet has been lauded by those who have been able to see it.

For a virtual visit to the touring exhibition and for more information on Shanghai Expo 2010 please visit our microsite.

Exhibition Location:
MSPs Lobby, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

20-24 September 2010

Fringe Show – Lauded by the List

Rhythm of the Drums: Song of the Cicada is described by the List as a `series of virtuoso displays, infectiously enjoyable` and is awarded three stars for the show which closes this Sunday 22 August.

Audiences have grown throughout the run thanks mainly to word of mouth and with only a few lunchtime shows (13.40-14.40) left till the run ends on 22 August make sure you find a slot to enjoy the exuberant drumming, dramatic dance, heartfelt singing, and glorious ethnic costumes in this spectacular show. From the Wood Drum Dance of the Miao people – known as ‘oriental disco’ for its frenetic movements – to the ethereal beauty of the love songs of the Dongzu, the ensemble, wearing stunning headdresses, amazing silver jewellery and playing ethnic instruments will enthral, delight and reveal the rich cultural heritage practiced even today in their remote mountain homes in southwest China.

For full details please visit our microsite

The Politics of Multiculturalism in Taiwan – June 2010

Friday 4th June at 6pm will see this topic being addressed by widely published Mau-kuei Chang, research fellow of the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, and adjunct Professor of the Department of Sociology, Taiwan University.

On considering the question ‘Is Taiwan a multicultural country? Is multiculturalism an official position of the country?’ the answer must be ‘yes’. Not only do both the DPP and the KMT parties mention multiculturalism in revision articles of the Constitution (1996), but also it has become a “must learn” subject in the high school curriculum since 2006. How has this development come about? How do we make sense of this in Taiwan where politics are always about “unified” and one nation-ness? And, what does this term mean for the general public?

Chang will address this with a quick sketch of different political discourses on nationhood, on people, on difference and on civil rights since 1970’s and examine how these diverse discourses somehow suddenly converge on a very vague, little understood notion of multiculturalism, which in reality and through institutional arrangements affect the daily lives of the people.

Mau-kuei Chan received his PhD sociology degree from Purdue University and has visited U.C. Berkeley and McGill University as Fulbright and exchange scholar. His research and teaching interests include social movement studies, identity politics, and ethnicity and nationalism. He is widely published in both English and Chinese with his most recent being an edited volume titled “Nation and Identity, ideas of some Waishengren” (2010).

Date: Friday 4 June
Time: 6pm-7.30pm followed by a drinks reception

This event is free. To reserve a seat for this talk please email or call 0131 662 2180.

Win trip to Shanghai-closing date 31 July

Borrow a book from the Confucius Institute`s `Window of Shanghai` section in our library and you could win a trip to this year`s Expo City. To enter the competition simply write a piece of between 1500-5000 words in English or 1000-3000 words in Chinese as a book review, or an essay on your personal musings as stimulated by the book selection.


All entries should be completed and submitted by July 31, 2010.
All entries should be submitted in word format and to be emailed to or sent on CD-ROM to

Ms Dennie Lee
Shanghai Library Competition
Room 1310
1555 Huai Hai Zhong Lu
200031, Shanghai, China

All writing must be original and no liability is accepted by the organisers for any infringement of copyright or IPR.


A total of 20 top entries will be selected by a panel of professional judges. The result will be notified in August 2010.


The first place prizewinner and three second place entrants will each be invited to an award ceremony in Shanghai. The airline and accommodation costs will be covered by the organisers.

The additional 16 finalists will each receive gift with a value of US$100.


Please contact the Confucius Institute on 0131 662 2180 or email us on to request access and borrowing rights to the library.