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University of Ottawa Continues Research Chair in Taiwan Studies

Virtual signing ceremony signatories and participants

On May 31, 2021, Mr. Winston Wen-yi Chen, Representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada, and Dr. Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President - Research at the University of Ottawa, signed a memorandum of agreement renewing the Research Chair in Taiwan Studies in the university’s Faculty of Social Sciences. The signing ceremony had to be held virtually, because of the pandemic, but many dignitaries took part, including Tracy Lang, Executive Director of the Education Division at TECO in Canada, Dr. Victoria Barham, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Mr. François Carrier, Director of the International Research office, and Research Co-Chairs: Professor André Laliberté and Professor Scott Simon.

Dr. Charbonneau thanked TECO for its full support and the co-chair professors for their contributions to this program, saying “This signing ceremony was very meaningful to me because I visited Taiwan quite a few times in my early career, and I was impressed by my experience in Taiwan.” More recently, Dr. Charbonneau also visited many institutions in Taipei, Hsinchu, and Tainan in 2019, on behalf of the university. 

The initial MOA establishing the Taiwan Studies program at the University of Ottawa was signed in 2011 and this is the second time it has been renewed. Over the years, all kinds of academic events have been organized through the Taiwan Studies Program, as well as field research courses and graduate student research fellowships in Taiwan Studies.  

The renewal of this MOA will enable the two Co-Chairs of Research in Taiwan Studies to continue promoting Taiwan Studies research, publishing research findings on related topics, developing the Taiwan Studies curriculum, and making knowledge of the politics, economy, external relations, history, society, languages, and culture of Taiwan more broadly available, for example, through public lectures. 

The Taiwan Studies Program will also continue supporting and facilitating collaborations between the University of Ottawa and numerous institutions in Taiwan.