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KU Leuven Prof. Nicolas Standaert Receives Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award

Attendees at the Taiwan Alumni Lunch, during which Representative Tsai Ming-Yen presented Prof. Nicolas Standaert with his Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award

On November 5, Representative Tsai Ming-Yen presented a Global Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award to Professor Nicolas Standaert of KU Leuven, on behalf of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, during a ceremony organized by the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium. The Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards honor the outstanding achievements of alumni who studied in Taiwan as foreign students, and Representative Tsai thanked Prof. Standaert for his enormous contribution to promoting Sinology internationally.

Prof. Standaert received a Ph.D. in Sinology from Leiden University in 1984. He then pursued a Master of Theology at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan from 1992 to 1994. Throughout his distinguished academic career, he has actively promoted Sinology related research in Europe, and played an important international role in Sinology research. He has fostered and trained a great number of international specialists in the field, and some of his former students are now teaching in the world’s most prestigious universities.

The Ministry of Education awarded the first Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards in 2018. The inaugural award winners included Belgian sinologist, Prof. Roel Sterckx, the Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization at the University of Cambridge and a former student of Prof. Standaert. 

Prof. Standaert had attended the 2018 award ceremony and during his acceptance speech he said he felt that KU Leuven and the Sinology department were doubly honored by his also receiving a Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award. Prof. Standaert commented that he looked back fondly on his time in Taiwan with which he still has strong ties, both personal and academic. He hopes that this award will inspire his students and colleagues to endeavors in the field of Sinology.

Among those attending Prof. Standaert’s award ceremony were KU Leuven colleagues Prof. Carine Defoort, Prof. Lut Lams, and Dr. Valeria Zanier, and some of his students. The ceremony was followed by a Taiwan Alumni Lunch, during which Prof. Defoort and Prof. Lams, both Taiwan alumni, shared some of their fond memories of Taiwan and even sang the first Taiwanese song they had learned.