Monthly Archives: May 2016

Chinese Language Summer Courses – 1 July to 1 August

This summer we are offering both Day and Evening classes from 1 July to 1 August 2019.  Our diverse programme of evening and day time classes aims to give a wide array of opportunities to start to learn Chinese! In addition to our usual language programme, we will offer two weeks of intensive HSK revision and practice classes. These are ideal for people who are planning to take HSK levels 2 and/or 3 exams this year. Learners will have a total of 15 hours led by a teacher over the two week period. Each course is composed of three parts – mock tests, revision and practice.

Please note that online registration for the classes through Centre for Opening Learning will close from 22 June 2019. However, you can still register your class through the University Epay system  after the deadline.


Monday, Tuesday and Thursday


 1 July – 11 July
15 hours
2.5 hrs x 6 days
     £102/£68        (materials not   included)


Monday, Tuesday and Thursday


 15 July – 25 July
15 hours
2.5 hrs x 6 days
       £102/£68               (materials not       included)

Wednesday 10am-12:30am

 3 – 31 July
12.5 hours
2.5hrs per week
x 5 weeks

£85/£70 (including materials)


SUMMER SCHOOL Evening Classes 1 JULY – 1 AUGUST 2019

TWICE WEEKLY CHINESE FOR BEGINNERS Monday & Thursday 6pm-8pm  1 July – 1 August
20 hours
4 hours per week
x 5 weeks
           £136/£91               (materials not included)
HSK 2 REVISION & PRACTICE                           Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

6pm – 8:30pm

 1 July – 11 July
15 hours
2.5 hrs x 6 days
            £102/£68                 (materials not included)
HSK 3 REVISION & PRACTICE                           Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

6pm – 8:30pm

15 July – 25 July
15 hours
2.5 hrs x 6 days
           £102/£68                   (materials not included)

All classes will take place at the Confucius Institute for Scotland EH16 5HP.
Please email or call 0131 662 2180, if you have any questions. We look forward to welcoming you to one (or more) of our summer courses.

How strong is your vocabulary?

Try our Vocabulary On-line Self-practice to find out! Student will receive a full set of online practice in class. Before you start the class, why not try one of the below categories first?



HSK 3 Noun (Part 1)

HSK 3 Verb (Part 2)

Gender Statistics & Local Governance 24 May 5.30pm

Guest Lecturer Lanyan Chen from Nipissing University, Canada will talk on the topic of Gender Statistics and Local Governance in China on Tuesday 24th May at 5.30pm.


Gender statistics provide an essential tool to mainstream gender equality in policymaking through the recognition of gender differences in all fields of life. It is a legacy of feminist movements since the 1970s to bring forth recognition of challenges women face differently from men in order to effect substantive equality.

This talk identifies the lack of gender statistics in China’s statistical systems and its negative impacts on local policymaking based on the findings of a project carried out in three local districts of Tianjin. From a feminist political economy perspective, Lanyan Chen argues that gender statistics will not find its way into policymaking, which is a process in China built upon centralized statistical reporting systems that serve the senior governments more than local communities. It is her suggestion that policymaking is a site of contestation whereby community activists demand the use of gender statistics to assist policies to promote equality.


Lanyan Chen DSC_8669 edit copyLanyan Chen, is an Associate Professor of Social Welfare and Social Development, holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s in Communications from Simon Fraser University. She publishes in both English and Chinese and brings a perspective of feminist political economy to her areas of research.

Her publications in areas of gender issues and inequality, the women’s movement, health and welfare, and public policy, includes a book entitled Gender and Chinese Development: Towards an Equitable Society (Routledge, 2008), and many book chapters and journal articles in Feminist Economics, Development and Change and China Quarterly.

While her published research has mostly focused on China, she is increasingly doing research on these issues in Canada and other countries using comparative perspectives. As a researcher, she takes her role seriously in spreading knowledge and working with people to think of a way forward. This approach reflects her experiences with several United Nations appointments including the UNIFEM Gender Advisor for Northeast Asia based in Beijing from 1998 to 2003, a position where she was able to create change through projects, campaigns and mobilization of people and communities.

She has had numerous appointments as a Gender Expert, working on the design, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale projects and programmes in support of compliance to international human rights norms and standards. She also initiated situational analyses by way of surveys and field visits; interviews and focus groups; and led training workshops on participatory, action-oriented methodology (PAR); gender analysis; human rights norms and standards; gender statistics; social assessment; and survey design for projects.

Her most recent participation in the evaluation of the United Nations Population Fund country program in China is available here.

Gender Statistics and Local Governance in China
Business School Lecture Theatre 2
29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS

From: 5.30 till 7pm including Q&A
All Welcome
This lecture will be followed by a drinks reception

Chinese Independent Doc. Films
Xu Xing 26-27 May

Xu Xing: History, Memory & Legacy
Tracing Vestiges of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

This year our second programme of truly remarkable cutting-edge, independent, documentary filmmaking from China including screenings of films rarely shown & with the opportunity for discussions with the director features the award winning novelist and film maker Xu Xing.

Download the Full Programme here

My Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution

In 1972, Xu Xing wrote the first love letter of his life and sent it to a girl in school, whose parents had been sent to the countryside. Not knowing, what to do with it, she showed the anonymous letter to her teacher. Xu Xing was identified as author through his handwriting, and was detained…

In this autobiographical piece, Xu Xing tells the story of his own experiences of the Cultural Revolution by tracing his personal encounters of the past in contemporary China.

Thurs 26th May, 2016 17.30–19.00 David Hume Tower, Lower Ground Floor, LG 11
My Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution, 80 min.
A drinks reception will follow the showing and Q&A

Criminal Records

In 2011, Xu Xing accidentally came across registration documents of prisoners, who were detained as active counter-revolutionaries during the Cultural Revolution. Unlike most other political prisoners of the time, these were all peasants, and from the same region in Zhejiang. So Xu Xing started his journey to find these people to discover their stories both as prisoners and their later lives.

Frid 27th May, 2016 17.00–19.30 David Hume Tower, Lower Ground Floor, LG 11
Criminal Records, 120 min.
A drinks reception will follow the showing and Q&A


XuXingXu Xing, born 1956 in Beijing, started his career as a novelist and writer. His publication Variation Without a Theme won him accolades at the Beijing University Art Festival and international acclaim and awards such as the Tucholsky Prize for Foreign Literature (Pen International) and “Order of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” from the French Ministry of Culture for his translated work.

He has held fellowships and author-in-residence positions in Germany, France and the US. After turning to filmmaking, his documentaries were selected for film festivals garnering awards from Korea and the Awards Forum for Independent Documentary (AIF). His work has been widely shown in the US at Harvard, Yale & Columbia, and in Europe at Berlin, Rome & Aix-en-Provence a.o.

After each screening there will be a Q&A session with the director Xu Xing followed by more informal conversations during the drinks receptions

As seat numbers are restricted, please email to book your place to attend either or both evenings.

Prof Adam Smith – Origins of Writing Keynote: 20 May 6pm

“The Beginnings of Writing in China:
Managing Livestock and Anxiety”

The National Museum of Scotland holds the largest collection of inscribed ancient Chinese oracle bones (1800 fragments from c.1300 BCE) in Europe (the second biggest outside of Asia), donated by two Scottish missionaries in 1909.  A three day academic conference will take place in the University of Edinburgh at the end of which there will be a public lecture which will consider the early origins of writing in China.


The emergence of literacy in a culture previously unexposed to writing is an exceedingly rare, but consequential event, one that has taken place at only a tiny handful of places and times. Northern China, circa 1300 BCE, of was one of those places and times. Archeological evidence for the beginnings of literacy in China is spectacular in its abundance, and arguably provides a more complete picture of the process than that from any other region.


Records of divination inscribed onto cattle scapulae and turtle shells are the most numerous and best known examples of early Chinese writing. They document divination performed on a daily basis to address the sacrificial routines and personal anxieties of the Shang royal family. But these so-called ‘oracle bones’ are only part of the picture. Brush-written labels on stone and pottery objects, and inscriptions on cast bronze objects, are two other important strands of early evidence. Documents written on strips of bamboo or wood bound together with thread have not survived, but their role in maintaining registers of sacrificial livestock can be reconstructed from references to them in the ‘oracle bone’ texts. By combining these complementary lines of evidence, we can start to answer the question ‘How does writing begin?’


Adam Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, and a curator in the Asian Section of the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. His research is focused on the beginnings of writing and literate institutions in China, and the linguistic and palaeographic reconstruction of the earliest stages of the Chinese language.

Public lecture details

Friday 20th May 18.00-19.15 followed by a drinks reception
Confucius Institute for Scotland, Abden House, 1 Marchhall Crescent, EH16 5HP