Yearly Archives: 2016

Business Lecture Patrick Horgan, Rolls-Royce – Podcast

For those who missed the excellent talk last month from  Patrick Horgan, OBE, Regional Director, North-East Asia for Rolls-Royce we are pleased to offer you the chance to hear his talk via this podcast.


Patrick, a graduate of Oxford University, and a Mandarin speaker with a background which spans business, diplomacy and cultural relations, is Regional Director North-East Asia for Rolls-Royce, covering China, Japan and Korea, based in Beijing.

patrickhorgan  Previously, he was managing director of an international corporate advisory firm in China, advising leading MNCs on direct investment and on policy issues, both in China and in other Asian emerging markets. Prior to that, Patrick worked at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong.

In 2007 he was awarded an OBE for services to the British business community in China.  Patrick has also held various external roles and advisory appointments, such as Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China (2004-06), and member of the China Advisory Council for the EU. From 2009-2011 he also served as Counsellor for Education at the British Embassy in Beijing and Director of the British Council’s programmes across Greater China. He is currently Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

Originally from South West Scotland Patrick first went to China to live and work in 1989. He lives in Beijing with his wife and three children.

Patrick’s  talk is entitled:”What next for international investment in China, and Chinese investment in Europe? Personal reflections and the story of Rolls-Royce in China.”

This will take place on Thursday 27th October from 6pm in the Royal College of Surgeon’s King Khalid Auditorium which can be accessed directly from Hill Square.  Please book here via Eventbrite.

We are delighted that our partner for this talk is the China Britain Business Council.

For a record of all speakers who have appeared in the Institute’s Business Lecture Series please click here.

Chinese Language Lunchbox Sessions 2016 Wed & Thurs

Chinese Language Lunchbox (汉语盒饭) is a free, lunch-time language programme which has been specially designed to introduce simple and useful Chinese words and phrases along with some cultural understanding for non-Chinese speakers for the University community.

This semester the Lunchbox Sessions will cover five topics one on each of five different dates. You can book a place on just one or indeed all of the sessions as suits your interests and your diary.

Lunchbox sessions will take place at No 50 George Square Thursdays from 1.05pm to 1.35pm from 2 Nov to 1 Dec.

Topic One: Useful Chinese Expressions – Wed 2 Nov and Thurs 3 Nov

10 short useful Chinese phrases/sentences will be introduced. These expressions can be used on their own or mixed and matched to create an allusion of fluency.

Topic Two: How to introduce yourself in Chinese – Wed 9 Nov and Thurs 10 Nov

The standard short sentence pattern will be taught and you will learn how to introduce yourself when meeting new people using a couple of sentences in Chinese.

Topic Three: How to say Chinese Names – Wed 16 Nov and Thurs 17 Nov

This topic will introduce the structure of Chinese names, common Chinese surnames and their pronunciations. Feel free to bring examples of Chinese names you find difficult to pronounce.

Topic Four: Chinese Numbers – Wed 23 Nov and Thurs 24 Nov

It is easy to count from 1 to 10 in Chinese, but learning how to say bigger numbers in Chinese reveals some Chinese ways of thinking. Come and discover one hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or even a billion in this Chinese number maze session.

Topic Five: Chinese Character Appetiser – Wed 30 Nov and Thurs 1 Dec

Ten simple Chinese characters will be introduced in this topic using animations and pictures. Participants will learn to recognise these simple characters, their meanings and understand how to write them.

Time: 1.05pm till 1.35pm

Venue: Room 2.30, 50 George Square

How to book?

Bookings can be made via MyEd. Search “Chinese Language Lunchbox” provided by the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the Event Booking section.
Pack your lunch and join us for the Chinese Language Lunchbox!

Deciphering Chinese Characters -short course

Want to spend more time on Chinese characters learning? Or perhaps you are finding Chinese characters more challenging?

We are offering a five week course from November which will develop your skills in character recognition. More information is below the timetable.

Day(s) Dates-all 2016 Time Full Price / Student
Chinese Characters  Beginners Wednesday 9,16,23,30 Nov and 7 Dec 2016 6.00-8.00pm £50/£35

Character Class: Registration Form

This class which will help you decrypt Chinese characters both familiar and unfamiliar.  At the end of the five weeks students should:

  • Have understanding of the core elements (radicals) within many characters
  • Be able to recognise up to 200 characters (and write these with practice)
  • Have an understanding of the cultural assumptions which underlie some Chinese characters

In the class you will learn how to write Chinese characters paying attention to the stroke order, formation and radicals, The cultural meaning behind some common characters will also be explained.  The class will run with whole class teaching and individual practice using materials prepared by the teacher, Wu Yuwen.
Wednesdays 6pm-8pm from 9 November till 7 December 2016 inclusive.

Welcome to the expanded Confucius Campus

On Monday 19th Sept the Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary and the award of Model Institute status with the official opening of two additional buildings creating the first Confucius Campus in the world – download our campus map.

The New Buildings

Located only a few hundred metres from Abden House, home of the Confucius Institute for Scotland since it launched, the two additional buildings at nos 79 & 81 Dalkeith Road previously operated as University nursery premises. The £1million development increases capacity at the Institute with an additional six teaching and study rooms as well as a specialist library for students undertaking postgraduate Chinese Studies courses and evening classes. Download the campus-map here.

Model Institute Award

A day long programme of events marked this anniversary which saw the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea  unveil a Model Institute Award Plaque with Ma Jian Fe, Deputy Director of Hanban.This was followed by the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony with a number of presidents of  Chinese and European partner universities.

Witnessed by 120 guests the morning events also included a keynote speech by Chen Liming, Chairman of IBM, Greater China – a visiting professor at the University – and the signing of a number of Memorandum of Understanding.

The Open House Afternoon programme gave staff, students and the general public the opportunity to tour the campus buildings where language tasters, calligraphy workshops, and musical instruments were all on offer along with Tai Chi, Chinese teas and delicious Chinese dumplings.  Visitors ranged across the age groups and nationalities and the lovely Panda mascots were a hit with everyone.  

The event concluded with a celebratory dinner at the Playfair Library with cultural interludes including a mini-fashion show of Qipao from our new partner Donghua University’s College of Fashion and Innovation.  Guests also enjoyed watching Institute calligrapher, Chi Zhang, create a calligraphy poem to specially composed music from Hugh MacKay on the cello. The short video of rehearsal and performanc Warriors! brought youthful energy into the room before guests were invited into Old College Quad for a beating the retreat finale.


The University of Edinburgh’s Confucius Institute for Scotland has developed a strong reputation, introducing people to the Chinese language, advising Scottish companies seeking to do business in China and staging award-winning cultural events.

Professor Natascha Gentz, Chair of Chinese Studies at the University and Director of the Institute, said: “The past 10 years has been a period of considerable achievement, with the Institute helping to foster closer links between people in Scotland and China. This major investment will support our provision of post-graduate programmes and our aim of extending our range of activities. A key strand will be to work more closely with local schools, enabling children to learn a new language and discover more about Chinese culture.This is an important time in the life of the Institute and we look forward with confidence to the next 10 years.”


Cabinet Secretary visits Confucius Campus

fiona-hyslop-confucius-institute-018Institute Director, Professor Natascha Gentz was delighted to welcome Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs to the Confucius Campus for a meeting attended also by Vice Principal Professor Charlie Jeffrey along with co-director Dr Jin Ri.



The opportunity to show her around the recently expanded facilities just three days after the campus’s new buildings were officially opened was appreciated and Ms Hyslop enjoyed the chance to get hands on with some of the Institute’s musical instrument collection.



fiona-hyslop-confucius-institute-005The Institute has recently been selected as a Cultural Pilot Institute to work with a new Cultural Division within Hanban. The opportunity to build stronger and more meaningful cultural engagement between Scotland and China is welcomed by the Scottish Government which last year renewed its Cultural Memorandum of Understanding with China.

Chinese Women’s Whispers Fringe Production 14-28 Aug

The Confucius Institute for Scotland was delighted to welcome back to the capital the extraordinary, award-winning theatre group, Hand Made In China who appeared at Spotlites Theatre from 14-28 August.

Fringe First Award winners two years ago, this year’s mesmerising production –“Chinese Women’s Whispers” – is one that weaves together the story of three generations of Chinese women with the story of ‘nushu’, an ancient, secret, written language evolved by Chinese women and never shared with men.

Through narrative, poems, songs and dance the fascinating story behind this hidden writing offers a contemporary perspective on a woman’s role in society while exploring notions of femininity and masculinity from both a Western and Eastern perspective.

The Hand Made In China cast is assembled from participants in Hua Dan workshops for migrant women workers, a Beijing-based social enterprise that uses the power of participatory theatre as a tool to empower migrant women and children.

Performers from the Hunan Jiangyong Centre for Nushu also feature in the show,  delivered in both English and Chinese, using subtitling when necessary.

Institute Director, Professor Natascha Gentz, said: “We are so pleased they have accepted our invitation to return for Fringe 2016 where they will share more of the Hua Dan women’s experiences, asking themselves what their roles as wives, daughters, mothers and modern women are in China today.”

Reviews  * * * * *
BroadwayBaby   * * *
Fringeguru * * *

More about Hua Dan

Hua Dan ( is a Beijing-based social enterprise that uses the power of participatory theatre as a tool to empower migrant women and children.  Hua Dan operates a model of training and employing the migrant women themselves to deliver programmes in their communities, enabling them to be competent performers, workshop leaders and project managers.  To date Hua Dan has worked with over 25,000 people across China and are now scaling their model into other emerging markets through our sister entity, Scheherazade –


Nüshu ( 女书  ) – literally “women’s writing”. It is a syllabic script, a very different variation of Chinese characters that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County in Hunan province of southern China.  A symbol of female empowerment and a significant force in reduced suicides in the regions where it was practiced, it’s beauty and artistry provide a powerful backdrop to the stories of the Hua Dan women being explored on the stage.
(source: Wikipedia)


Asian Studies Seminar: On Feeding the Masses 12 Oct 5pm

This Asian Studies Seminar exploring why China’s food safety system is failing, despite concerted state efforts to reform its regulatory framework will be given by John Yasuda, Assistant Professor from Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures.

Rather than pointing to lack of state capacity, level of economic development, or corruption, the study seeks to gain analytical leverage from the often cited but understudied notion that China’s scale lies at the core of its governance challenges. In large, heterogeneous polities like China where millions of actors are operating at varying scales or “degrees of zoom” in diverse economic and geographical settings, scale politics are particularly fierce due to evolving social constructs, non-linear dimensions, and scale externalities. Drawing from over 200 interviews with food safety regulators and producers in China’s domestic, export, and organic markets and investigation over a 5 year period, the study seeks to establish new theoretical and empirical ground to explain why China’s fragmented unitary framework is ill-equipped to address its scale politics.  Cross-sectoral illustrations in the aviation, fisheries, and environmental sectors in China highlight how scale politics impact many other economic sectors within China; and cross-national comparisons of Europe, India, and the United States suggest that the politics of scale framework may engage debate about contentious policy arenas and regulatory outcomes in the world’s large and complex markets beyond China.

John Yasuda is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian
Languages & Cultures  Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) specializing in contemporary Chinese politics. Prof. Yasuda’s research includes the study of regulatory reform in developing countries, governance, and the politics of institutional integration. He has published articles in the Journal of Politics, Regulation & Governance, and The China Quarterly. His book, On Feeding the Masses, which examines the political roots of China’s food safety crisis, was recently accepted by Cambridge University Press. Prior to joining SGIS, Prof. Yasuda was post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He received his PhD in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley, an MPhil in Comparative Government at Oxford University, and his BA in Government from Harvard College.

Date: Wed 12 October
Time: 5pm-7pm
Venue: David Hume Tower, LG.11, University of Edinburgh


Writer in Residence Agreement – Beijing Publishing Group

beijingpublishinggroupA 15 strong delegation from Beijing Publishing Group visited the Confucius Institute for Scotland earlier this month to sign an agreement which will see upcoming and well known Chinese authors visit Edinburgh to spend a period of time as a Writer in Residence in the city of Edinburgh.The delegation visited the Institute after attending the London Book Fair and brought with them a donation of 500 books which are now housed in the Institute.

With a 60 year history  Beijing Publishing Group Co. Ltd is now a large cultural enterprise with eight professional publishing houses, five magazines and fourteen subsidiaries. Two of the publishing houses focus on Chinese literary publishing and in 2015 the October College of Arts was established from where this initiative has been launched.  Each writer selected as a Writer in Residence will have the opportunity to spend time in Edinburgh and environs. The Institute will arrange public event(s) for the writer appropriate to the profile and interests of the individual.



Award Winning Chinese Choir
Tues 4th Oct 7.30pm

As part of the celebrations for our 10th Anniversary, our Institute is delighted to host an award-winning Student Choir from Nankai University on Tuesday 4th Oct 2016 at 7.30 in the lovely surroundings of Nicholson Square Methodist Church.

2014_2Having performed at top concert venues around the world, the  choir will offer a diverse repertoire of Chinese and Chinese minority folk classics.

Founded in 1995, the Student Choir of Nankai University is composed of undergraduate students, postgraduate students and international students. Nankai University has a prestigious choral tradition dating back to the 1930s and the University Choir regularly win various major international choral awards, including the highest award at the Fourth International Choral Festival in 1998, three gold medals at the Third World Olympic Choral Competition in Bremen, Germany and top prizes at the First and Second National College Student Performance Festivals in China.  In 2009, the Student Choir performed on the stage of China’s National Grand Theatre, representing the highest honour of national recognition in China.

Tickets for this concert which is free can be booked via here via Eventbrite.


Autumn Language Classes Sept-Dec 2016

The autumn programme of Chinese language classes for students of all levels will start from w/b 26 September.  On line booking is now available. 

Please note that online booking closes on the day the class starts after which bookings can be made directly to the Confucius Institute – subject to places being available.

Our students enjoy their learning at the Institute
Initially learning Chinese is like playing with Lego. The word simply slot together. THere are no male or female nouns, no changes for tenses and no plurals!
Lucas Cloveralcolea, Level 1

Our teachers from our partner Fudan University, in Shanghai, come highly recommended.
Our teacher is fabulous! She explains everything very well, encourages us to speak and really adds to what the textbook offers.
Ann Roodt, Level 2 Student

Classes are attended by a wide range of students.
My class has a diverse range of students of all ages and from a wide range of countries. The atmosphere is always warm, friendly and encouraging. James Hagerty, Level 3 Student

Motivations for learning are many and various.
I love learning Chinese. For me its a hobby, a challenge and very satisfying.
Felicity Rodner, Level 4 Student

To find out more or to register for a class please go to our online booking link page.