Press Enter to Center block

Taiwan Studies Flourish at UCSB

The importance of studying Taiwan and its culture, literature, people, history, and society in its own right—rather than simply treating Taiwan as a minor subsidiary of China—continues to become increasingly recognized, and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has set a goal of promoting Taiwan Studies worldwide. A particular focus of this endeavor is encouraging U.S. universities to establish Taiwan studies programs by providing annual funding for a Taiwan Studies Lectureship for a period of several years. The programs are developed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and should be designed to enhance, and make more broadly available, knowledge about Taiwan’s history, society, politics, and culture.

As part of this initiative, an MOU was signed in 2007 between the Ministry of Education’s overseas Education Division TECO in Los Angeles, and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). It was renewed in 2010, and renewed again in July this year, this time for a further 5 years. This MOU resulted in the setting up of the Center for Taiwan Studies (CTS) at UCSB.

CTS is the first research center in a US higher education institution to offer courses and a doctoral degree program about Taiwan. Under the leadership of Professor Tu Kuo-Ch’ing, CTS has set itself the objectives of promoting Taiwan-related scholarly activities in the social sciences, humanities, and other cultural areas in academic venues in the United States, and is working to make UCSB an important institution in the field of Taiwan-related studies, both nationally and internationally. CTS supports collaborative programs involving visiting writers and scholars, and encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and Taiwan-related campus activities. It provides a public forum for hosting a wide array of activities, including conferences, and bringing prominent experts to the campus, and publishes English translations of Taiwan literature to meet the professional interests of faculty and students from a variety of disciplines.
Based on its experience of academic collaboration working with dozens of esteemed universities around the world, the Ministry of Education looks forward to further cooperation with US and steadily expanding the Taiwan Studies network, opening up this broad field of study to many more interested students, scholars, and researchers.