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National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) Partners with UCLA to PromoteTaiwan Studies

Date: 09/18/2017

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) Partners with UCLA to PromoteTaiwan Studies

A Memorandum of Agreement on Taiwan Studies was signed on August 24, 2017 by Professor Wu Cheng-Chih, the Executive Vice President of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU); Professor Chen Deng-Wu. Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at NTNU; Nikky Lin, Chairperson of the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature for NTNU; and by Cindy Fan, Vice Provost of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities: and Zhou Min, Director of the Asia Pacific Center to initiate collaboration between NTNU and UCLA to foster Taiwan Studies. Professor Shih Shu-mei of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, an alumna of NTNU who played a key role in establishing the collaboration, was invited to be the attesting witness of the signing of the MOA.

The aim of the three-year NTNU-UCLA Taiwan Studies Initiative is to promote and broaden understanding of Taiwan’s politics, history, society, languages and culture. The MOA provides funding for students to conduct research at the partner institutions: UCLA graduate students are eligible for fieldwork fellowships at NTNU, and the UCLA Asian Languages and Cultures department will invite NTNU students to study at UCLA. The two institutions will offer short-term faculty exchanges to conduct research, establish and strengthen academic relationships, and collaborate on holding conferences and series of public lectures.

The MOA is expected to enhance the visibility of Taiwan Studies, strengthen the connection between two institutions’ faculty and students, and further promote the sharing by Asia Pacific Studies communities of their Taiwan studies related research interests.

The signing ceremony took place a few days after UCLA renewed another three-year MOA with the Ministry of Education, to continue Taiwan Studies collaboration. UCLA representatives mentioned that Taiwan Studies, a newly emerging academic field, has widely increased its visibility in international academic circles in recent years. Taiwan has attracted international research interest as the origin of aboriginal peoples and Austronesian culture, and because of the important role of cross-strait relations, its role in global economy and trade, as well as its free society and diverse energy. Professor Wu from NTNU pointed out that NTNU has designated Taiwan studies as one of the university’s research focuses, and this is a great opportunity to encourage young scholars to commit themselves to related fields through collaborating with UCLA.

After the signing ceremony, the NTNU delegation met with Scott Waugh, UCLA’s Executive Vice Chancellor, who expressed his full support of the two universities’ collaboration, and expectations for future academic exchanges. They also met with Paulo Rodrigues, Associate Vice Provost for Global Engagement Strategic and Global Initiatives at the University of Southern California (USC), and Professor Sherry Velasco, USC Vice Dean for the Humanities, to discuss possible collaboration on Taiwan Studies and language learning in the future. Two outstanding Taiwanese professors – Joanna Yu from USC International Public Policy and Management Programs, and Jean Chen Shih from the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Science – were also invited to meet with the NTNU delegation.
It is expected that NTNU will continue to enhance its academic exchanges and collaborations with higher institutions in Southern California.

Photo:The signing ceremony of the MOA on Taiwan Studies between NTNU and UCLA.
L-R: Nikky Lin, Chairperson of the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages, and Literature at NTNU; Professor Wu Cheng-Chih, Executive Vice President of NTNU; Professor Chen Deng-Wu. Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at NTNU; Cindy Fan, Vice Provost of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Professor Shi Shu-mei from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA; David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities; Elizabeth Leicester, Asia Pacific Center Executive Director;;and Zhou Min, Asia Pacific Center Director.