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University of Ottawa Students Learn About Taiwan’s Global Influence and Educational Programs from TECO-Canada

Representative Harry Tseng and TECO-Canada staff with the visiting University of Ottawa students

Members of the International Political and Policy Studies Student Association (IPPSSA) of the University of Ottawa visited Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada (TECO-Canada) on November 2, 2023. The 15-person group was warmly received by Representative Harry Tseng, Tracy Lang, the Executive Director of the Education Division, and other TECO-Canada staff.
The Association is the representative body of students in Political Science, Public Administration, and International Studies & Modern Languages at the university. It’s one of the largest student associations on campus and serves a diverse student body with an active calendar of social and academic activities, including visits to diplomatic missions located in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. IPPSSA had approached TECO-Canada in response to requests by student members with a strong interest in Taiwan’s recent global exposure and by some students with a Taiwan family background and all the visiting students went there with an extremely high interest in learning about Taiwan and its global influence.
The group was led by IPPSSA office bearers Dominique Bustamante Leigh, Chair of the EIL Events Committee, and Sasha Mathieu, Vice-president Academic for the International Studies and Modern Language program students, and it was accompanied by Professor André Laliberté from the School of Political Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences who holds the Research Chair in Taiwan Studies.  
Representative Tseng welcomed the group, and then Executive Director Lang spoke about the mandate, programs, and resources of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE), and she outlined the Ministry’s Huayu Enrichment Scholarships and Taiwan Scholarships, to encourage outstanding international students to study Chinese Mandarin or undertake a degree in Taiwan. She also gave details of the Taiwan Studies Program at Ottawa, co-funded by the MOE, which has held numerous academic activities over the years to help teachers and students of the School of Political Studies understand Taiwan’s current situation and outlook. She encouraged the visiting students to find out about and participate in the activities of the Taiwan Studies Program at the University of Ottawa. 
The Information Division of TECO-Canada then gave a presentation on Taiwan–Canada relations, outlining the evolution of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Canada since they were frist established in 1943, and on the importance of pubic diplomacy to Taiwan.
Finally, Representative Tseng responded to enthusiastic questions from the students. He explained Taiwan's democratization process, the evolution of gender equality, Taiwan's contribution and assistance to the international community during the pandemic, and the active implementation of international human rights conventions by Taiwan’s Government. The students, who may soon become professionals engaged in international work, gained a much clearer and more comprehensive understanding of Taiwan’s history, its diplomatic situation, relations between Taiwan and Canada, and cross-strait relations. 
As well as being keen to ask questions during their visit, afterwards many of the students asked for more details about various scholarships and programs to go to Taiwan. It is very gratifying that the Ministry of Education’s longterm endeavours providing scholarships and funding for Taiwan Studies projects are increasing Taiwan’s visibility!