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Postgraduate Research Summer School

Please note, WREAC does not have any plans to hold any further Postgraduate Summer Schools at present.

However, our partner universities, Nanjing University and the University of Sydney, have held regular follow-on international summer schools since July 2010.

From 24 June to 5 July 2013, the China Education Center at the University of Sydney, the Center for Modern China Studies at Nanjing University, and the Department of History at Nanjing University will co-host the Fourth International Summer School for China Studies at Nanjing University. The theme of this summer school is Non-Government Organization, Market and State.

For more details about the 2013 International Summer School on China Studies, please download the course flyer and application form.

Please note that the deadline for applications is 20 March 2013.

For information about future International Summer Schools, email Ms Cao Huizhong at Nanjing University.

About the WREAC Postgraduate Summer Schools in Chinese Studies 2006-2010

The Postgraduate Summer Schools provided research training in Chinese studies for PhD students and junior researchers from the UK, other EU member and associated states, China, Australia and North America.

"PGSS broadened my view on current Chinese studies research" - PGSS 2008 trainee

The focus of the Postgraduate Research Summer School was on modern and contemporary Chinese history and analysis of Chinese society and politics—the most dynamic areas of academic interest of our age. PGSS aimed to enhance research capacity on Chinese society, Chinese politics, and modern and contemporary Chinese history through training in research approaches, academic judgement, scholarly interaction and critique of postgraduate research. In this way, the Summer Schools helped to facilitate future global collaboration and exchange in social science, and modern and contemporary Chinese history.

The formats for each of the Summer Schools were:
  • short thematic introductions by keynote speakers;
  • small peer-group seminars led by experienced researchers;
  • task-based group work; and
  • research-relevant excursions or hands-on training workshops.
Approaches included discussion, reporting, semi-structured interview, qualitative and quantitative analyses, and oral and written feedback. Keynote speakers with different research profiles and interests functioned as both facilitators and trainers, interacting with participants in various ways.

"PGSS was well organised... We had lots of chances to exchange ideas with professors and students" - PGSS 2008 trainee


The Postgraduate Summer Schools ran as a series of annual sessions. Each Summer School covered a different theme:
Of these sites, Nanjing is historically significant as the birthplace of the Chinese Republic in 1911 and later China’s capital from 1927 to 1937 and from 1945 to 1949. Leeds and Oslo are established centres that have several decades of achievement in Chinese studies. Bristol represents the recent expanding interest in modern Chinese Studies.

The Postgraduate Summer Schools were organised by a steering committee made up of Chinese and European researchers. The first four Summer Schools were made possible through financing from the European Union Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses, while the latter received funding from the Research Councils UK. The whole series was initiated and sustained with support from the Worldwide University Network (WUN).

University of Leeds

National Institute of Chinese Studies

University of Bristol

Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Bristol

University of Oslo

Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

Nanjing University