The President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, has been leading a delegation of senior TKU staff around Europe, where they visited a number of TKU's sister universities. In addition to visiting the University of Oxford's Hertford College, a sister university, the delegation also stopped in at Cambridge University, hoping to tour the grounds, observe the learning environment, and gain insights into one of the world's foremost institutes of learning. On the morning of March 18, the delegation arrived at Hertford College, Oxford University, where it was received by the Directors of the International Programmes Department, Ms. Caroline Rice and Mr. Andrew Hemingway. TKU and Hertford College became sister universities in 2000, while in 2005 the then President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led a delegation to visit Hertford College. Moreover, the former Principal of Hertford College, Sir Walter Bodmer, participated in TKU's 55th anniversary celebrations, held at the Tamsui Campus. The two institutes enjoy close collaboration in a variety of exchange activities, including the annual summer camp held at Hertford College, which many TKU students have previously taken part in. The purpose of the current visit was to discuss the possibilities of expanding the programs for mutual student exchange and visits. During this year's European visit, the delegation visited a total of 6 sister universities, and went to 9 cities in 3 countries (France, Germany, and England). It also participated in two alumni activities. The visit was an overwhelming success and delegates who took part all gained a lot.
The President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, has been leading a delegation of senior TKU staff on a visit of sister universities in Europe. On March 12, 2019, the delegation concluded the French leg of the tour, and then flew to Germany, where it visited three universities with whom TKU holds mutual student exchange agreements and substantive exchange and interaction: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the University of Bonn, and the University of Cologne. On the afternoon of March 13, the TKU delegation visited Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, a prestigious institution known for its academic research, where they were received by the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Hans Van Ess, and several members from the International Office, including Dr. Nicola Hillmer, Dr. Susanne Doring-Buchmann, and Miss Sabine Polacek. After the TKU delegation arrived, they attended a forum held by the host university, in which TKU staff introduced various unique features of study at Tamkang, including its emphasis on internationalization, as well as inviting the president and vice-president of the host university to attend TKU's 70th anniversary celebration next year. On the afternoon of March 15, the delegation visited the University of Cologne, where they were met by the Head of the International Office, Dr. Stefan Bildhauer, the Head of the Department “International Science” within the International Office, Dr. Susanne Preuschoff, and other personnel from the International Office, including Dr. Peter Haase and Miss Nicole Conde. On the same afternoon, TKU delegates converged upon the University of Bonn, an institution with a list of alumni that include Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Robert Schumann, and were received personally by the President of the University, Dr. Michael Hoch.
Having actively promoted internationalization for many years, Tamkang University now has 215 sister universities in 37 countries around the world. To strengthen relations and create chances for exchange with its sister universities in Europe, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, led a delegation of senior TKU staff on a visit of European sister universities from March 9-18. The delegation consisted of the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, the Executive Director of the Office of Alumni Services and Resource Development, Dr. Yang Shu-Chuen, and staff member Acid Chu from the Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs (OICSA). The delegates visited six European sister universities, including Paris Diderot University, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the University of Bonn, the University of Cologne, and Hertford College, Oxford University. Apart from strengthening bilateral exchange and solidifying the cooperative relationship between TKU and its sister institutions, the visit also afforded TKU delegates the chance to meet with Tamkang exchange students currently studying in Europe. During the meeting, staff encouraged students to make the most of their time on exchange, to improve their language abilities, and try to grow and develop as a person. In addition, the delegation also accepted invitations from ROC Representative Ambassadors in France and England, François Wu Chih-chung and David Yung-Lo Lin respectively, to visit the representative offices in these two countries. The delegates also met with alumni in France and England in an effort to fortify relations between TKU and its numerous global alumni.
The total number of international and exchange students studying at TKU has breached the 2,000 mark. To help such students better adjust to life at TKU's campuses and acquaint themselves with TKU's unique learning environment, Tamkang University has organized a diverse range of activities. An example is Chat Corner, which allows local and international students to partake in language exchange on a regular basis. In addition, two cultural activities have recently been held, allowing TKU's foreign students to gain a first-hand insight into Taiwanese culture. For example, to accord with the government's New Southbound Policy, from Feb 28 – Mar 1 Tamkang University led 80 Indonesian students to the Aboriginal Culture Park in Sun Moon Lake, a popular tourist destination that showcases the diversity of indigenous aboriginal culture. Moreover, on March 9 approximately 40 international and exchange students from India, Malaysia, and Indonesia were taken on a tour of various scenic and cultural sites around Taipei, and not only got the chance to experience local Taiwanese culture and view local Taiwanese architecture, but also got their hands dirty partaking in an indigo dyeing activity.
During Winter vacation this year a total of 25 service groups spread out across Taiwan to serve the community. They headed to remote regions in northern, central, and southern Taiwan, as well as the islands off the coast of Taiwan proper, while two clubs even went overseas, to countries such as Cambodia. The theme of this year's Winter vacation community volunteer program was "applying the spirit of perseverance". The clubs gained a lot from the service trip, and in an effort to share their experiences and encourage even more students to participate, three events were held on the evenings of March 5-7 at the Carrie Chang Music Hall, Tamsui Campus.
To promote an appreciation of artistic aesthetics and help turn the Tamsui Campus into a beautiful "garden campus", the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center is currently holding an exhibition that showcases traditional Chinese calligraphy and paintings. The theme of the exhibition is "pleasant spring sunshine" and a total of 78 artworks are on display, created by 64 well-known painters and six renowned calligraphy artists. On March 6 the opening ceremony for the exhibition was held, and was hosted by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, with many senior TKU faculty and staff also in attendance, including the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Shi-Feng Chuang, and the Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Tzung-Hang Lee, among others. The exhibition began on Feb 21 and will continue until Apr 11.
To better care for the broader Tamsui community, Tamkang University has implemented and continually promotes the University Social Responsibility (USR) project. One of the current initiatives in place under the USR project is the Tamsui Better Lifestyle project, which is a continuation of the various projects launched throughout the World Heritage and Community Design Workshop that took place during the 2018 summer vacation. After a discussion held between Tamsui residents and TKU students, and led by Assoc. Prof. Huang Jui-Mao, Department of Architecture, the community collectively decided that the first spot to be restored would be the steep pathway leading down from Chongjian St to the Tamsui Red Castle. The restoration project was to last for ten days, from Jan 14 to 23, 2019, and would be carried out as part of a workshop. One of the ramshackle, traditional-style houses on the steep part of Chongjian St formed the focal point for the initial restorative effort. TKU student volunteers and local Tamsui citizens rolled up their sleeves and cleared out piles of rubbish, sorted bricks and rubble for recycling, and tidied and spruced up the plants, transforming it into a clean and orderly space. Apart from just “clearing up the mess”, students also helped to redesign the space, injecting their own unique artistic touch and mixing the new with the old. During the process of restoration, a wide variety of curious passersby stopped and observed, including residents walking their dogs, elderly ladies holding baskets full of vegetables, and foreign tourists. The President of the Society for the Advancement of Tamsui Culture, Li Shu-fen, stated that after the renovation work, heritage-listed Chongjian St looks completely different, offering much wider, uninhibited views of the river.
The fifth lecture in the TKU Panda Lecture Series was delivered on the afternoon of Feb 26, 2019, at the Hsu Shou-Chlien International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. The guest lecturer was Dr. Hoang Pham, an esteemed scholar and luminary in the field of reliability engineering. Dr. Pham currently serves as a distinguished professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University, having previously served as department chair, and is a Fellow at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). Dr. Pham has been working and conducting research in the field of Reliability Engineering for many years, and has extensive academic and practical experience in areas such as preventative maintenance, hardware reliability analysis, software reliability analysis, and statistical inference. He is also the chief editor of a number of well-known academic journals. His lecture at the Tamsui Campus centered on the following topic: Reliability and Statistical Machine Learning Computing. It commenced with an introduction of the guest speaker by the Dean of the College of Business and Management, Dr. Tzong-Ru Tsai, who then gifted Dr. Pham a traditional Chinese painting depicting a pig along with the Chinese character “Fu”, which together signify “Blessings” in the current Year of the Pig. Dr. Pham’s lecture was informative and thoroughly compelling, inspiring the faculty and staff in attendance, which will undoubtedly have a positive effect on their future research and postdoctoral efforts. A total of 430 attendees poured into the conference hall to listen to Dr. Pham's lecture, including faculty and students from the Department of Statistics, Department of Management Sciences, Department of Information Management, Department of Transportation Management, and the Department of Mathematics.
On Feb 21, 2019, distinguished TKU alumni assembled in Taipei for an annual social gathering, in which esteemed alumni from northern Taiwan catch up and maintain their close bonds. The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Gathering featured 40 former recipients of the Golden Eagle Alumni Award, a prestigious award bestowed on alumni who have made significant contributions to the university or the broader community. Current and former TKU presidents were also in attendance, including the current Chairperson of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and the current Chair of the Retired Tamkang Faculty Association, Dr. Lin Yun-shan, along with three current vice presidents of Tamkang University: the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Shi-Feng Chuang, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, and the Vice President for Lanyang Campus, Dr. Jyh-Horng Lin. The event included a Distinguished Alumni Forum, a keynote speech on “A Changing Environment and Experiences in Decision Making”, as well as extensive discussion and speeches by key figures.
A delegation of senior staff from California State University, Stanislaus, visited the Tamsui Campus on Feb 22, 2019. The delegation consisted of the President of CSU Stanislaus, Dr. Ellen Junn, Stanislaus State committee member, Mr. Fred Bee, and Senior International Officer, Dr. Jennifer Helzer. TKU and CSU Stanislaus concluded a sister university cooperative agreement in 2002, and from 2003 to 2006, four TKU students studied there under the newly-signed student exchange agreement. Moreover, in 2011 the current Chairperson and former President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, was among a delegation of six senior TKU staff who visited CSU Stanislaus. With the initial academic agreement soon coming to a close, the recent visit represented an opportunity to renew the agreement and ensure continued cooperation well into the future. To make the guests feel more at home during their visit, student volunteers led the them on a tour of the TKU Tamsui Campus, pointing out the Chinese palace-style classrooms and then guiding them into the Chinese-style gardens. President Junn remarked at the beauty of the campus and expressed her hope to someday return and offer lectures at TKU. The signing of the renewal agreement was carried out by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and President Junn. It was followed by a round of group photos at the Hsu Shou-Chlien International Conference Hall, and closing remarks by President Keh, who expressed his hope for closer and more substantive relations between the two institutions in the near future.
On Feb 15, TKU faculty and staff returned to work following the winter holidays. To celebrate the start of the new semester and the lunar year, they attended the 2019 New Year’s Kick Off Luncheon, which was held simultaneously at the Tamsui Campus, the Taipei Campus, and the Lanyang Campus, with each event connected via webcam. Over 100 managers and staff from TKU administrative units crowded into the three campus venues, the tables decorated with fortuitous fruits such as apples, which represent peace and safety, mandarins, which symbolize auspiciousness, and dates, which suggest perennial good luck. To begin the event, the General Secretary of Tamkang University, Dr. Andy Liou, delivered an opening address, wishing all attendees prosperity and good fortune in the Year of the Pig. This was followed by remarks from the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who wished everyone a Happy New Year and announced the latest results of the prestigious “Employers’ Favorite Graduates” survey, carried out by Cheers Magazine, in which Tamkang University ranked 1st among all private Taiwanese universities for the 22nd consecutive year. President Keh expressed his hope that such results would spur even higher student enrollment numbers in the upcoming admissions phase.
The results of Cheers Magazine's 2019 Employers’ Favorite Graduates survey were recently published. Tamkang university once again crowned the list of private Taiwanese universities, and placed 8th overall when including both private and national universities. The annual Cheers poll is an authoritative source of information, regularly examining trends in higher education and changes in demand for skilled personnel. Its reports show that, since 2015, the ten highest-ranked universities have remained constant, and are listed (in order) as follows: Cheng Kung University, National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University, National Tsinghua University, National Taipei University of Technology, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Chengchi University, Tamkang University, National Sun Yat Sen University, and National Central University. Of the universities that made the top 15, only four were private universities: Tamkang University, Fu Jen Catholic University, Chung Yuan Christian University, and Feng Chia University. The rest were all national universities. The Cheers study looks at nine major metrics to assess students’ competitiveness in the workplace: professional knowledge and technical skills, international outlook and foreign language proficiency, level of innovation, problem-solving ability, the ability to integrate their skills and knowledge and apply it to their jobs, competence in using digital applications, willingness to learn and overall adaptability, ability to work under pressure, and the ability to work in a team. These are attributes that local enterprises emphasize and are critical factors that determine whether or not a candidate gets the job. The Cheers report further points out that when selecting university graduates, employers place the greatest onus on two main qualities: graduates’ willingness to learn and adaptability (74.7%), and their ability to work under intense pressure (69.2%). Tamkang University has ranked first among private Taiwanese universities for 22 consecutive years, even outperforming many national universities. This shows that Tamkang University not only gives students a strong knowledge-based foundation, with its focus on internationalization as well as information and future-oriented education, but also helps students develop their character and personal strengths through its notion of ‘eight essential qualities’. The President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, noted that Tamkang University embeds its educational philosophy into the curriculum, starting from the freshman year. This is why it is able to create students who show a willingness to learn and high adaptability.
Webometrics recently released the Jan 2019 edition of its University World Rankings. Tamkang University placed 700th globally, 10th among Taiwanese universities, and again came first out of all private universities in Taiwan. The nine Taiwanese universities that ranked ahead of TKU included: National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University, Tsinghua University, Cheng Kung University, National Central University, National Sun Yat Sen University, National Yang-Ming University, National Taiwan Normal University, and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. The rankings are formulated based on a university’s strength in the following four metrics: presence, impact, openness, and excellence; for which Tamkang University ranked 420, 340, 1005, and 1340 respectively. It ranked highest in the ‘impact’ metric, placing fourth out of all Taiwanese universities, followed next by the ‘presence impact, for which it claimed 9th spot among the top ten Taiwanese universities.
The Tamkang University Center for Science Education continues to hold chemistry-based educational activities, its mobile chemistry ‘procession’ having traveled around the island several times. The procession consists of the mobile chemistry lab (sponsored by Everlight Chemical Industrial Corporation) and the mobile analysis lab (sponsored by Merck Taiwan), and is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Chemistry Society Located in Taipei (CSLT), and the broader chemistry industry. For the last eight years, it has moved around the island, stopping at remote elementary and high schools in a bid to promote chemistry education throughout Taiwan. On Jan 24, 2019, the mobile chemistry lab arrived at Cheng-Bin Junior High School in Keelung, northern Taiwan, and proceeded on to Keelung Municipal Sun Yat Sen Junior High School on Jan 25, where students took part in hands-on chemistry experiments, having fun while learning about chemistry. The mobile chemistry lab has now been to all 22 cities and counties around Taiwan. 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT). Tamkang University’s mobile chemistry activities are intended not only to support and complement the IYPT, but also to reflect the slogan of the United Nation’s 2011 International Year of Chemistry: ‘Chemistry - Our Life, Our Future’.
On Jan 31 2019, TKU held its annual Year-End Gala at the TKU Student Activity Center, which soon filled up with faculty and staff, as well as retired staff who returned to Tamkang to celebrate with former colleagues. The Gala commenced with an opening address by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh. President Keh said that under the concerted guidance of the four TKU vice presidents, and thanks to the hard work of all faculty and staff, over the past year Tamkang has posted a number of incredible achievements, be it in the areas of teaching and research, administration, international exchange, collaboration with local business, or externally administered school evaluations. He took the opportunity to thank the entire body of faculty and staff for their tireless efforts, explaining that TKU’s success over the past 68 years since its inception could largely be traced to the school’s founder and the successive line of presidents who helped it grow even further, along with the vast sea of employees who have served at Tamkang along the way. As always, the Gala featured a myriad of money giveaways, including prizes for excellence in teaching and for exceptional scores on teacher evaluations. This year's Gala program was organized jointly by the TKU Office of Alumni Services and Resource Development and the Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs (OICSA). The performances were lively and diverse in nature, and included a dragon dance show performed by a renowned Taiwanese dance troupe, and a vibrant dance number by a group of foreign students from the Republic of Kiribati.
Hoping to increase enrollment among overseas students and strengthen ties with Hong Kong high schools, on Jan 18, 2019, Tamkang University held a joint signing ceremony with numerous Hong Kong high schools at the Highwise Service Foundation, Hong Kong. The TKU delegation that attended the Signing Ceremony was led by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and included the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, and Lin Yu-ping of the TKU Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs (OICSA). TKU previously signed a cooperative agreement with 14 Hong Kong high schools in Sept 2014. Then, during this recent trip to Hong Kong, the delegation renewed TKU’s agreements with nine of the original schools, and added nine new schools, taking the tally of cooperating schools to 18. Schools renewing their agreement with TKU include: La Salle College, Pui Ching Middle School, Shun Tak Fraternal Association Yung Yau College, Po On Commercial Association Wong Siu Ching Secondary School, King Ling College, Lai King Catholic Secondary School, Tsung Tsin College, and the Buddhist Hung Sean Chau Memorial College. Meanwhile, the newly added schools include: HKMLC Queen Maud Secondary School, ELCHK Lutheran Secondary School, Fanling Kau Yan College, Lam Tai Fai College, QualiEd College, HKTA. The Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School, the Hong Kong Taoist Association Ching Chung Secondary School, and Saint Antonius Girls' College. In a speech made during the Signing Ceremony, President Keh thanked the TKU Alumni Association Hong Kong for helping to bring TKU and the various high schools together. He expressed his hope for closer interaction and exchange with these partner schools in the future in the form of teacher workshops and jointly-held student camps.
The Dean of the College of Engineering, Prof. Hui-Huang Hsu, is set to leave TKU after being selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to serve as Technical Adviser at its Representative Office in Vietnam. He will be replaced by Prof. Tzung-Hang Lee of the Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering. To mark the shift, a Handing Over Ceremony was held on Jan 18, 2019 at the Engineering Building, Tamsui Campus. It was overseen by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, and attended by over 80 TKU supervisors, faculty, and students. During his opening address, Vice President Chii-Dong Ho commended Dean Hsu for the various achievements he has posted during his two-and-a-half years as Dean. It is Tamkang University’s honor, he added, to have a College Dean whose work has been recognized by the government, and who has been hand-picked to serve in a high-level government body. He also outlined the many achievements of the newly-appointed Dean, Dr. Tzung-Hang Lee, who will continue to lead the College of Engineering ever-forward in the area of research. His speech was followed by remarks from the outgoing Dean Hsu, who said that although serving as the Dean of the College of Engineering entails a heavy workload, thanks to the concerted efforts of everyone in the College - working together like one large family - they were able to accomplish many things.
Tamkang University’s Environmental Education Promotion Team recently teamed up with the TKU Department of Architecture to hold the 2018-19 Campus Planning and Design Exhibition. In addition to the Exhibition itself, on Jan 9, 2019, the 2019 Environmental Education Symposium was held at the Hsu Shou-Chlien International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. Participants included principals, directors, and teaching staff from elementary and junior high schools around Taiwan, with 180 participants in total. To kick off the event, the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Shi-Feng Chuang, delivered a welcome address on behalf of Tamkang University. She discussed factors that help improve campus environments, noting that it was not just about getting the most benefit out of the campus buildings and infrastructure, but also about maximizing the campus’s unique features, and making connections with the broader community in which the campus is located. The Symposium featured two keynote speeches and a general discussion, hosted by the TKU Dean of General Affairs, Luo Shiaw-Shyan.
Despite it being winter, TKU student clubs are bringing warmth to the community, having formed 25 groups - a total of 626 students - that will head to remote villages, both in Taiwan and abroad, to provide help and care to the underprivileged. As a send-off for the students set to embark on community service programs, a Flag Presentation Ceremony and accompanying Workshop were held on Jan 14, 2019 at the TKU Student Activity Center, Tamsui Campus. The President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, presented the flags to the volunteer service groups, as other senior-level TKU staff members packed into the Activity Center to take part, including the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, Dr. Chun-hung Lin, the Dean of Student Affairs, the Dirctor of the Office of Military Education and Training, Chang, Pai-Chen, Dr. Andy Liou, the General Secretary of Tamkang University, the Dean of General Affairs, Luo Shiaw-Shyan, the Secretary of the TKU Board of Trustees, Huang Wen-chih, and many others. In his opening address, President Keh offered students words of encouragement, stating that “People who enjoy serving the community are the happiest.” The joy we get from serving others has both physical and mental effects. It causes the body to create more dopamine, and increases serotonin and adrenalin levels, which leads to happiness, adds to one's sense of accomplishment, and helps to improve one's memory, thus making for more effective study and serving as a force for positive growth.
The Year of the Pig is almost upon us. To herald the coming of a new year, on Jan 11, 2019, Tamkang University – with assistance from the Ministry of Education and the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) – held the 2019 Foreign Student Spring Festival Dinner at Tamsui’s RegaLees Hotel. The purpose of the event is to help newly-arrived international and exchange students adjust to their new surrounds, allowing them to experience the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year so that they feel more at home, and less homesick, during the holidays. The dinner event was hosted this year by the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, and attended by many high-level TKU staff and government dignitaries, including the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, Mr. Chu To-ming of the Ministry of Education, and many others, with a total of 350 students, teachers, and dignitaries in attendance. In his opening remarks, President Keh explained that a traditional custom during Chinese New Year is for families to come together around a dinner table for a New Year’s feast. He emphasized that the event was designed to share this kind of festive warmth with TKU’s foreign students. He also thanked the various government dignitaries for participating in the event and for providing support for the event. Finally, he wished all in attendance a happy and safe New Year.