Monthly Archives: March 2016

Office closed for Good Friday 19 April 2019

Please note that our office will be closed on Friday 19 April.  The offices will re-open on Monday 22 April when our Spring term starts.

We look forward to welcoming our students back from next Monday 22 April.


Asian Studies Seminar: Philip Clart, 12 February 2019, 6-8pm

The second Asian studies seminar series of this semester take place on Tuesday 12 February in Project Room (1.06), 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9JU

In the Taiwanese context, divination refers to a set of different techniques for obtaining supernaturally sourced knowledge, ranging from simple yes and no answers revealed by the dropping of so-called divination blocks to extended dialogues between humans and deities through the services of an entranced spirit-medium. This presentation introduces a new database of records, spanning from the early 19080s to the present, of questions posed by believers to the deities of a central Taiwanese spirit-writing cult, and of the answers received by them. I will endeavour to demonstrate how such primary data can be used to study folk beliefs and their social contexts.

Philip Clart is Professor of Chinese Culture and History at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 1997; prior to coming to Leipzig he taught at the University of British Columbia (1996-1998) and at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1998-2008). He is the editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions and co-editor (with Elisabeth Kaske) of the monograph series Leipziger Sinologische Studien. His main research areas are popular religion and new religious movements in Taiwan, religious change and state/religion relations in China, as well as literature and religions of the late imperial period (10th-19th c.). His monographs include Han Xiangzi: The Alchemical Adventures of a Daoist Immortal (University of Washington Press, 2007) and Die Religionen Chinas (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009). He has edited or co-edited Religion in Modern Taiwan: Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Society (University of Hawai‘i Press 2003), The People and the Dao: New Studies of Chinese Religions in Honour of Daniel L. Overmyer (Institute Monumenta Serica, 2009), Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions (Boyang Publishing, 2012), Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China: 1800-2012 (De Gruyter, 2015), and Hundert Jahre Ostasiatisches Institut an der Universität Leipzig (Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2016).

All Welcome!


Spring Term language classes – week 1 underway

Join one of our friendly classes this Spring term with our excellent teachers from Fudan University in Shanghai. With up to 20 different levels of language courses running Monday to Thursday evenings from 6pm till 8pm there should be a class to suit you.  Beginner level classes run each evening so book now to start learning.

All classes start w/b 18 April 2016 and take place in the Confucius Institute for Scotland at Abden House, 1 Marchhall Crescent, EH16 5HP.

Hello Front

If you are unsure what level of class might best suit you please get in touch with us. We will arrange a meeting with one of our teachers the week before classes start to assess the best class for you.

Click here for full details of the courses on offer from April-June 2016.


If you have any questions do get in touch. Call on 0131 662 2180 or email otherwise simply register online for the course you want to take.



HSK Exam 02 Dec 17-online registration by 2 Nov

Registration is now open for the Decemer HSK Exam Diet.  The registration deadline for the online exam is Thursday 2 November.  The online exam has a later deadline of Thursday 16 Nov 2016.

We recommend that  only candidates who are proficient in using a keyboard to input characters should apply for the online exam.

For more information on the HSK and HSKK and to register please visit our main HSK page here.




Win a trip to Shanghai in Writing/Photography Contest

Have you been to China? Did you visit Shanghai?  Even if you have only read a book about Shanghai or China, you can still can take part in a writing or photography contest to win a trip to China.

City Scene

City Scene

Shanghai Get Together is the 4th Writing and Photography Contest run by Shanghai Library which offers first and second prize winners the opportunity to win a trip to China.Third prize winners will receive specially made gifts.

Applications for this contest is now open to people from overseas. Simply submit a short article or photograph (or both) to share your impressions, experiences and stories.

This competition is run by Shanghai Library. For entry requirements and detailed information, please visit Shanghai Library web page here.

Shanghai Library provide our Institute with a selection of books on an annual basis under their Window of Shanghai programme.  In previous competitions we have had a third prize winner!

Good Luck!


China’s Mobile Library takes to the road

Interest in the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, extends well beyond Edinburgh Zoo’s home base in Corstorphine.

The pandas are here on a ten year loan and during their extended stay in Scotland, Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for RZSS has developed a much lauded outreach programme for Scottish schools. This year, our Institute, is working  to extend the reach of her work through a special programme of CPD and pupil education. As part of the overall ‘Beyond the Panda’ programme, Sandie Robb is now travelling around the country taking the ‘China Mobile Library’ to schools not only in the central belt but to the the Highlands and,the Islands as well as the Lowlands and Borders.

In JanuarCML-2y, Fife school, Milton of Balgonie Primary, was the first in 2016 to welcome Sandie and her ‘panda box’.  The contents of the box include games, jigsaws and other activities to stimulate learning and classroom discussion. The materials introduce age appropriate Chinese language elements.

The first two months of the year have seen the Mobile Library visit snowy Newtonmore for a period giving primary schools there and in Aviemore, Alvie, Kingussie and Gergask the chance to start to start to explore the habitat and habits of Giant Pandas.

CML-1CPD sessions for teachers are also part of the package which ensure that staff within participating schools have the opportunity to derive maximum return from the progarmme.  There is also the option to buy a ‘Panda Box’ for a school to enable staff to continue to stimulate the pupils using the materials which, as well as being hugely enjoyed by the students, have been developed to match Curriculum for Excellence outcomes.

With East Dunbarton, East Ayrshire and Cambuslang also enjoying visits, the mobile library will be heading to more schools throughout the year.

For request a visit, or for more information and resources please visit the Beyond the Panda website.


Distinguished Lecture: Yuri Pines 17 March 6pm

Empire without Emperors?
Rethinking aspects of China’s “modernization”

China’s republican revolution of 1911 is overwhelmingly considered— notwithstanding ongoing debates over its nature, course, and outcomes—a necessary and positive step on the country’s path toward social and political “modernization.” Yet if viewed in the context of traditional Chinese political culture, the haphazard abolition of the millennia-old monarchic form of rule appears as less prudent.

In this talk Professor Pines will address short- and long-term repercussions of China’s transformation from a monarchy into a republic and reassess its political and cultural consequences. A renewed analysis of advantages and disadvantages of China’s abolition of monarchic rule may be of interest to historians of traditional and modern China and also of some relevance to those concerned with China’s ongoing attempts to redefine its cultural image.

Professor Yuri Pines

yuriBorn in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1964 Yuri Pines works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on political thought of pre-imperial (pre-221 BCE) China and on the political culture of imperial China. He is also involved in studies of political, social, and religious history of pre-imperial and early imperial (Qin) China and of early Chinese historiography.

His major monographs include The Everlasting Empire: Traditional Chinese Political Culture and Its Enduring Legacy (Princeton, 2012); Envisioning Eternal Empire: Chinese Political Thought of the Warring States Era and Foundations of Confucian Thought: Intellectual Life in the Chunqiu Period (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009 and 2002). His new study, The Book of Lord Shang: Apologetics of State Power in Early China is forthcoming in Columbia University Press, 2017.

For further details see and

This Distinguished Lecture from Professor Pines will take place in Lecture Theatre 2 at the University of Edinburgh’s Business School from 6pm on Thursday 17th March.   Following on from the lecture and Q&A there will be a networking drinks reception.

No booking is required.


Low Carbon Development, China 22 March 2016

Dr Yong Geng, Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University will visit Edinburgh and deliver a morning lecture on 22 March 2016 at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. Dean Geng will briefly present the key findings of his research in the area of circular economy and low carbon development in order to identify possible opportunities for collaboration and partnership with colleagues in Scotland. 

This is a FREE event running from 08.30am-10.0am but places are limited.  For more details please contact Siobhan Dunn at ECCI.


Dr Yong Geng is a Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University – one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Shanghai Jaio Tong recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with the University of Edinburgh. The agreement is the first of its kind between the two institutions. The relationship will create opportunities for partnerships drawing on the research expertise and innovation of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). Dean Geng holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering and is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Science and Engineering. He is the recipient of numerous and awards and honours and he sits on the boards of many international scientific committees and international journals.

Dean Geng will speak about his primary research area in the circular economy and low carbon development in China. This is a rare opportunity to hear one of China’s preeminent scholars in this area. If you would like to attend please register via the ling below or contact Siobhan Dunn at

DATE: 22 March 2016
TIME: 8:30am to 10:00am
VENUE: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Language Show Live SECC Glasgow: 11&12 March

The five Confucius Institutes of Scotland will come together to exhibit at the Language Show Live Scotland on 11 & 12 March at the SECC in Glasgow. Our stand no is 440.

With free educational seminars, language taster sessions, varied cultural activities and performances the exhibition will appeal to all those interested in language learning either professionally or personnally. Please visit the Language Show Live Scotland website for more information.

With around 100 exhibitors the show will give parents, pupils, teachers and anyone interested in language learning a great opportunity to find out what is going on in the languages field.

Coordinated by the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) which is based within SCILT in the University of Strathclyde, CISS staff have been working on the evolution of the exhibition as well as the programme of seminars and entertainment to ensure that Chinese language is well represented at the show.