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The British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS) Celebrates its 40th Anniversary at a Reception in London to

The Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom has enjoyed a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship with the British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS). This primarily takes the form of working together to co-administer the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship program giving UK students opportunities to study Mandarin in Taiwan. The BACS committee is a group of distinguished academics who have research and teaching backgrounds in Chinese Studies, and experience assessing language students, and they utilise their expertise to rank the scholarship applicants and compile a list of successful candidates each year.

The Director of the Education Division, Mr Ouyang Yen-Heng, was delighted to be invited to an evening reception celebrating the 40th anniversary of BACS held on Thursday September 8, 2016, at SOAS, University of London. The gathering brought together BACS members, past and present, and many of the organisation’s closest associates.

The reception featured speeches from a number of former BACS presidents, representing all four decades. The current president, Professor Jane Duckett of the University of Glasgow, was followed by the very first BACS President, Professor Don Rimmington (1976, 1986–88); Dr Tao Tao Liu (1991–92); Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (2000–01); and Professor Harriet Evans (2002–04). They talked in detail about the history and development of BACS over the forty years, as well as the challenges faced in promoting Mandarin learning, and aspects to focus on in the years ahead.

During the reception a prize was awarded for the best research paper related to East Asian Studies. Very fittingly, the winner, Pamela Hunt, was a former recipient of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (2010–11 group). She credits her studies in Taiwan with enabling her to reach a level of Chinese adequate to pursue PhD and post-doctoral research, and to undertake and update reports for BACS.