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Towards a Connected History: European and Taiwanese Perspectives – a Taiwan Studies Program at the Catholic University of Louvain


The Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain) is one of Belgium’s leading universities. This French-language university is located in the city of Louvain-la-Neuve and it has become an important innovator and economic booster for the French-speaking Community. It is spread over six campuses, with two science parks and two university hospitals, and it is especially known for its outstanding work in the medical field. The university performed the first liver transplant in Europe in 1969 and Prof. Christian De Duve received a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1974 for his work there leading to the discovery of two organelles. 

UCLouvain has developed strong ties with Taiwan over many years. The university’s Orientalist Institute became part of its Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Literature in 1979. The institute has a strong focus on the teaching of oriental languages, including Chinese, and it has been part of the Civilizations, Arts and Literature research group since 2009, producing outstanding research in collaboration with a wide network of like-minded universities. The Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Literature has longstanding exchanges with National Taiwan University, National Central University and Fu-Jen Catholic University for UCLouvain students of oriental languages, and its French Department offers a double degree in French as a Foreign Language with Fu-Jen Catholic University.

The university’s rector Dr. Vincent Blondel went on a joint mission to Taiwan with Dr. Luc Sels rector of the Flemish-language Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in 2019 to further develop and broaden their ties with Taiwanese universities.

UCLouvain recently began further collaboration with Taiwan by entering a Taiwan Studies Agreement with Taiwan’s Ministry of Education with the assistance of the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium. The university has set up a program called Towards a Connected History: European and Taiwanese Perspectives, in collaboration with National Chengchi University in Taiwan. The program features an annual exchange of two academic staff members from UCLouvain and National Chengchi University to teach and do research at each other’s institutions for 14 days. During their visits the visiting fellows will hold public lectures on their country’s history to enhance mutual understanding. Both universities look forward to contributing to the exposure and promotion of Taiwan Studies in Belgium and of Belgian and European Studies in Taiwan.