A University Institute, which has helped thousands of people learn Chinese, is marking its first decade.
The University’s Confucius Institute for Scotland Campus is investing in new teaching and study facilities.
Established in 2006, the Institute 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.
The investment has made possible the refurbishment of buildings close to the Institute’s base at Abden House, which is next to the University’s Pollock Halls of Residence.
The development will house six teaching and study rooms, in addition to a specialist library for use by postgraduate Chinese Studies students and those taking evening classes.
The facilities will be opened at 10:00am on 19 September by the University’s Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.
Tours of the buildings will be offered to staff, students, and members of the public to provide a better understanding of the range of activities that the Institute offers.
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 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.
The presidents of six Chinese universities are expected to attend the opening, which will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a keynote speech by Chen Liming, Chairman of IBM Greater China, who was former visiting professor at the University and will become an honorary professor of the University at the event.
Between 2:30 – 4:30pm, members of the public are encouraged to tour the new buildings, and take part in a range of activities.
Visitors will be offered Chinese language taster classes, the chance to learn Tai Chi, get to grips with Chinese musical instruments, sample traditional tea and dumplings, and even take a selfie with the panda mascots!
The new teaching facilities are located at 79 & 81 Dalkeith Road. Details here:
A free shuttle service will run from the University's central area to the Confucius Institute for Scotland Campus.
Minibuses will leave every 15 minutes from the University's Visitor Centre from 2.15pm until 4pm.
Return services will operate from 2.45pm until 5pm.
The University has a long-standing relationship with China.
The first Chinese student to graduate from a British university received his medical degree from Edinburgh in 1855.
Today Edinburgh has links with several Chinese universities including Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Tsinghua, Nanjing, Peking, Zhejiang, and Tianjin University, and the Beijing Film Academy
Chinese students are now the largest international group at Edinburgh, having grown from 408 in 1998/99 to more than 2,500 in 2015.