Oct 192020

The Confucius Institute for Scotland, 1 Marchhall Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 5HP

Wong Fun Statue at the Confucius Institute for Scotland

The Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh promotes the “educational, economic, and cultural ties between Scotland and China.” In the 1850s, the University of Edinburgh was one of the first destinations for Chinese students pursuing overseas study. This statue depicts Dr. Wong Fun (Huang Kuan), who was educated as a medical student at the University of Edinburgh between 1850 and 1855. The Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (EMMS) granted financial support to overseas students studying medicine in Scotland, and aided Dr. Wong financially from 1852. Upon completing his studies, Dr. Wong became the first Chinese student to graduate from any institution across the whole of Europe, as well as the first Western-trained doctor in China. Dr. Wong’s thesis was entitled ‘On Functional Disorders of the Stomach’ and Yung Wing, a former classmate and one of the first Chinese students to graduate in America, remembered him as “one of the ablest surgeons East of the Cape of Good Hope.” After his graduation, Wong was appointed as a clinical clerk to Professor James Miller in the New Surgical Hospital, and later took a position in a missionary hospital in Kum-Lee-Fow.

Wong Fu
Wong Fu’s thesis.
A Plaque to Wong Fun also stands at 8 Buccleuch Place.
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