China Studies Summer School: Social Change in China, 2 - 30 July 2016, China

Publish Date: Sep 23, 2015

Event Dates: from Jul 02, 2016 12:00 to Jul 30, 2016 12:00

The Department of China Studies is offering a summer courses from 2 July, 2016 to July 30, 2016. 


  • Interested in China, and don't know where to start ?
  • Studying China, and wanting to experience the local ?
  • Looking for an interesting summer study program with good food, exciting places to visit, and great company ?

The XJTLU China Studies Summer School is a place to be, a course to follow, and an experience to be had.

The academic course at the heart of this year's China Studies Summer School will be Social Change in China. Taught by David Goodman, the Summer School will take you to Xi'an and Chengdu, as well as introducing you to the joys of Suzhou, the location of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.

The course may be taken for credit at other universities, equivalent to one-eighth  of a  full-time student learning load for an academic year. Further details of assessment are available.

Student visas are available so that it is possible to travel in and visit other parts of China after completion of the Summer School.

The Academic Program: Social Change in China

Social Change in China examines three main topics in the development of China since its changed economic development strategy was adopted in 1978. The course looks at class, regionalism, and inequality. All three are set in the historical context of China's emergence as a growing international economic and political force. The course includes lectures, seminar discussions, student presentations, and group projects.

There will also be opportunities to learn Chinese during the Summer School.

Professor David S G Goodman

David Goodman is Professor and Head of the Department of China Studies at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Previously at the University of Sydney, and currently also on the staff at Nanjing University, Prof Goodman is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. His most recent book is Class in Contemporary China (Polity, 2014) and he has edited the Handbook of Politics in China (Edward Elgar, 2015).

Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Founded in 2006 Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is a joint venture established under the PRC Ministry of Education by the UK's University of Liverpool and China's Xi'an Jiaotong University. It is located in the Dushu Lake Higher Education Zone of Suzhou Industrial Park, twenty minutes by train from Shanghai. The university currently has 7,000 students and plans to grown to double that size. A new Southern Campus is currently in construction. Education at the university is in English. Entry to the university for Chinese students is through the top tier of the National University Entrance Examination.

Department of China Studies

China Studies was established at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in 2014. The Department's current focus is on the history and culture, society and politics of China, especially at the local level. It runs an undergraduate degree program and a Visiting Students Program. Successful undergraduate students obtain a degree from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University approved by the PRC Ministry of Education (汉语国际教育) and a BA in China Studies from the University of Liverpool. The Visiting Students Program is for students from other universities anywhere in the world, and in any degree program who want to add a semester or a year of China Studies to their degree, either formally (through credit back to their home university) or informally. Students who complete a year of study in the Visiting Students Program are awarded a Diploma in China Studies. More details are available on the department's webpages, or in separate brochures.


Suzhou is the historic heartland of the Lower Yangtze Delta. Established in 514  BCE it is famous for its gardens, its canal system, its silk industry, and its bridges. Suzhou is probably the city most Chinese think of when they think of the concept of a city because it has been so written about in poetry and prose. The old city of Suzhou, surrounded by a moat, is now a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. The Suzhou Industrial Park is located to the east of the old city.  In addition to studying in Suzhou, the Summer School will visit a selection of the gardens, and walk the old town. Visits will also be made to a typical Lower Yangtze Delta river town, and to Hangzhou, the other historic capital of the region. In Chinese there is a saying: 'Above is heaven; on Earth we have Suzhou and Hangzhou.'


Xi'an is the major city of Northwest China and a place of both historic and more recent significance. It was the capital of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the nearest city to Yan'an, the Communist's revolutionary base against the Japanese during the War of Resistance (1937-1945.) A city wall is still intact, and moreover, can and should be cycled round. It is also the nearest city to the tomb of the first emperor, Qinshi Huangdi (Qin Empire 221-207 BCE) where the Terracotta Army has been uncovered during the last three decades. The Northwest has many Muslim peoples, and no visit to Xi'an would be complete without a tour of the Muslim quarter and its bazaar. In addition visits will be made to a number of other sites of historical significance as well as the City Museum and its wonderful collection of Tang Dynasty figurines.



Chengdu is most famous for two things: pandas and spicy food. It has been a site of Chinese civilisation from even before there was Chinese civilisation and indeed one of the site visits will be to the Sanxingdui Museum that houses relics from 2050-1250 BCE. Other activities (apart from lectures and classes) will include a visit to Leshan to the largest surviving rock Buddha (713-803 AD), to the Panda Preservation Park, and to Dujiangyan to see the early water engineering project (54 BCE) that irrigates the Chengdu Plain. And of course there is always the hot and spicy food. 

Language of instruction

The language of instruction at the Summer School will be English. No prior knowledge of Chinese or even things Chinese is necessary.

There will be opportunities  to learn some Chinese during the Summer School. Chinese language classes will be provided most days: a Chinese language teacher will accompany the Summer School.


The fee for the course (excluding travel to and from China) is 20,000 rmb (approx. USD$3,300). This fee covers travel within China, accommodation, entry fees (to sites of interest during the Summer School) and tuition.

Application for the Summer School should be made to

Students are advised to arrive in China through Shanghai. The International Office will assist with obtaining visas, and will meet you on arrival.

Further information

Further information about the Summer School and other China Studies Programs may be obtained from:  or 


Further Official Information

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