Monthly Archives: January 2013

Recommended Reading in Institute Library

With an extensive collection of books about China and Chinese language in the Institute library, our teachers have selected a number of books to make up a `Recommended Reading List` for members.

The subjects covered vary widely including Chinese history, geography, arts and culture, language learning, crafts, business tips, songs, and tourist information.

The 32 books selected by our staff can be found easily in the library by checking the shelves for those books which have a green star and an orange dot on the spine. Click here to see or download the recommended reading list. This list is also on the first floor notice board.

In addition the library has a special collection of English language books `The Scotland/China Collection` which have been donated personally by Graham Thompson and other friends of the Institute. Covering a range of topics from early diplomats, merchants, missionaries and travellers this collection shows that Scotland`s links with China stretch back over two centuries yet still have resonance today.

Window of Shanghai Winner

In the second global competition run by Shanghai Library, Institute student, Elspeth Hough has been awarded a third prize.

Shanghai Library have donated a number of English and dual language books to our Institute under an initiative known as `Window of Shanghai`. The writing competition required entrants to submit either a piece of writing in English or Chinese which focused on personal experiences or gave a book review, or an essay stimulated by the book selected.

From all the entrants around the world a total of 20 have been selected as winners. We are delighted to offer many congratulations to Esther who has been a language student at the Institute for just over one year.

Though missing out on the top prizes which saw first and second placed winners invited to an award ceremony in Shanghai with airline and accommodation costs covered, Elspeth was delighted to receive a certificate and a package of books about Shanghai for her essay which talked of her experience in learning Chinese.

Elspeth said `I used to love writing and when I saw the poster for the competition in the Institute I thought this would be a good stimulus to get startedagain and to reflect on my experience of learning Chinese at the Confucius Institute. I was delighted to receive my prize – an unexpected package of books from the Shanghai Library. I haven`t yet been to China but am keen to go and Shanghai will definitely be on the list of my places to visit`.

Free taster calligraphy session 15 Jan

Drop in on Tuesday evening 15 January for a free taster session to try your hand at the age old art of calligraphy/Chinese brush painting.

Running from 6.30 to 7.30pm this free session will give you a chance to try using a calligraphy brush and ink to create works of beauty. Led by the Institute`s calligraphy teacher, artist Chi Zhang will give a talk on the historic background of Chinese calligraphy/brush painting, and guide the students to discover the unseen reality beyond the surface of Chinese paintings. This ancient art form has a unique meditative quality which brings its own tranquillity even for the beginner.

Chi Zhang will guide those taking up the brush for the first time and will be pleased to answer any questions.

Please email to book your place by 14th January 2013.

The programme of calligraphy/brush painting classes will start on 22nd January for ten weeks. For full details of the calligraphy class schedule this term and to book a place please visit the courses section of our website.

If you have any questions please call us on 0131 662 2180 or email

Sixth Award for Edinburgh Confucius Institute

The CI for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh received its sixth consecutive award from Hanban when the title of `Confucius Institute of the Year` was awarded in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the seventh Global Conference on 16th December 2012.

In addition to its expanding programme of Chinese language and cultural outreach in 2012 the Institute organised the European Conference of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms, tripled the number of exam candidates sitting the HSK (the globally recognised Chinese language proficiency test) and organised a number of successful outreach events including its business lecture series which included speakers such as Jim O`Neill and Jim McColl.

In 2013 the Institute, which has renewed its agreement with Hanban, sponsor of the global network of CI for a further five years, plans to continue with its business lecture series and has a number of other outreach projects in the planning stage.

Professor Natascha Gentz, Director of the Institute said:

`This is the sixth award the Institute has received from Hanban for its continuous excellent performance. From the outset we set our sights high aiming to provide a platform for engagement with China at all levels helping to ensure that Scotland becomes a key partner for China in education, business and culture. We could not have become one of the leading Institutes in the world without tremendous support from Hanban, from our partner Fudan University, from our many partners in educational, business and cultural circles ­ and of course from the University of Edinburgh. Partnership has proven to be a key to our success and we are delighted that our joint efforts have been recognised again through this award`