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Agreements Signed between SOAS, University of London, and the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. to Enhance Teaching of Taiwan Studies

The School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) at the University of London has enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Taiwan and has offered a Taiwan Studies program to its students since 1999. This relationship has now been further cemented with the signing of three agreements which will enhance activities at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS.

The three agreements were signed by the Taiwan Representative, Dr Lyushun Shen, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan respectively, and by the Director of SOAS, Professor Paul Webley at the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. on June 21st, 2013.

The first agreement, between SOAS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan, aims to expand and develop the academic research program of the Centre of Taiwan Studies by providing support for seminars, conferences, summer schools and publications. This support will be effective till 2015.

The second agreement pertains to the Taiwan Studies Senior Teaching Fellow post, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. This post has previously enabled SOAS to introduce an undergraduate Taiwan course and to increase the number of postgraduate courses offered to students, and it has now been extended until 2015.

The third agreement relates to a funding grant from the Taiwan Spotlight program initiated by the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan. SOAS is the first university in the world to benefit from funding under this program. It will use the money to present a series of film screenings and Q&A sessions, entitled “Understanding Taiwan Through Film and Documentaries”, linked to the content of its Taiwan Studies courses.

Representative Shen praised the accomplishments of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies over the past fifteen years, noting specifically the impressive range of Taiwan-related teaching programs, publications, and academic activities. The three new agreements will allow SOAS to enhance each of these, to develop new materials, and to consolidate its reputation as a world leader in Taiwan Studies.