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Global Development of Taiwan Studies Programmes Conference held at SOAS, University of London

Date: 10/20/2017

Global Development of Taiwan Studies Programmes Conference held at SOAS, University of London

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London hosted a conference on the Global Development of Taiwan Studies Programmes on the weekend of October 23–24, 2017, chaired by Dr Dafydd Fell, Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies. Mr Ouyang Yen-Heng, Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, attended the conference on behalf of the Ministry of Education in Taiwan.
Scholars from universities across Europe and North America who are responsible for managing a Taiwan Studies Centre at their institution were among the conference participants. They shared their experiences of establishing Taiwan Studies programmes, thereby facilitating a review of the status of Taiwan Studies around the world, and of further progress that can be made in the coming years.
Mr Ouyang welcomed the attendees to the United Kingdom, stating that it was an honour to be invited to the conference to hear first-hand accounts of Taiwan Studies programmes, some of which have benefitted from Ministry of Education funding. He thanked all the academics for allowing him the opportunity to learn from their personal experiences and expressed the view that international cooperation of this kind is vital if the field of Taiwan Studies is to reach the highest levels.
On the first day, the participants explained their goals and motivations for opening a Taiwan Studies Centre and analysed to what extent they had accomplished their original aims. They also discussed how their programmes and activities had developed over time and their ideas about how to improve and achieve more in the future. The perennial issue of funding was also discussed in detail, with everyone present wanting to ensure that Taiwan Studies programmes remain sustainable during times of limited financial resources.
The topics on the following day included the integration of Taiwan Studies into the overall structure of universities, collaboration models, and ways of improving cooperation with other Taiwan Studies programmes or related disciplines. The scholars discussed the various challenges they are facing in the current climate, but they ultimately agreed that the outlook for Taiwan Studies was very positive.

Photo:Dr Dafydd Fell, Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies (centre, wearing glasses), with Mr Ouyang Yen-Heng (wearing a suit), Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, and other speakers and participants, at the 2-day Global Development of Taiwan Studies Programmes conference.