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The University of Southampton
The Confucius Institute

Symposium on the Journey of Testing: Global and Local Narratives

Published: 5 November 2019
Professor Alex Neill
Professor Alex Neill

On 5th November 2019, a one-day symposium on the topic of “The Journey of Testing: Global and Local Narratives” was held at Highfield Campus, University of Southampton (UoS). The Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton (CI) organised the event with the support from UK Association for Language Testing and Assessment (UKALTA), British Council, China Imperial Examination Museum and Shanghai Jiading Museum.

Dr Ying Zheng, UK director of CI, hosted the symposium and Professor Alex Neill, Vice-President of UoS, kick-started the event with his opening speech.  Sixteen keynote speakers presented their research results and shared their thoughts with participants regarding different narratives of how tests have been developed, adapted, used and interpreted among different countries around the globe, as well as historical movements of tests and the social political impacts across different contexts. Over 60 participants from UK, China, Netherlands, Mexico, Poland, Thailand and Saudi Arabia attended the symposium.

An exhibition of Chinese Imperial Examination, including its contents, way of testing, development and changes went alongside the symposium and it continued to exhibit at the Avenue Campus on 6th- 7th November and at King’s College London on 9th November 2019.

This symposium is a successful trail of presenting narratives on tests academically and is a new way of exposing Chinese culture to the world.


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