Given the continual decline of social morality seen in Taiwanese society, 10 years ago the Ministry of Education began to urge universities to promote ethics, moral integrity, and good values. To further instill moral values in its students, Tamkang University declared 2013 as the 'Year of Moral Integrity', holding a number of related activities, like making a paper train track that winds through the Tamsui Campus and stops at various stations representing "moral values". On May 1st, National Policy Advisor, Prof. Richard Chia-Tung Lee, came to TKU to deliver a speech on "Core Values". The speech, held at the Carrie Chang Music Hall, delved into the topic "Learning How to Think by Examining 28 Classic Speeches". The speech, which was attended by TKU students, faculty, and staff was well-received and told of the tremendous importance of independent thinking.
On April 26 and 27, the TKU Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies will held several conferences and forums as part of its first annual convention. On the 26th, there was a Pan-Pacific Conference on Peace and Stability, which explored issues to do with safety in the South Pacific, Western Pacific, and the Pan-Pacific. This was followed by a Regional Security Studies Forum, involving round-table discussions. On the 27th, there were two more events: the 9th Anniversary Memorial Conference for Professor Niu Sien-Chong, and a Symposium of Graduate Students in Taiwan’s Strategic Community. The conferences took place at the TKU Taipei Campus, and were organized by the Director of the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, Dr. Ming-Hsien Wong, and Assistant Professor York W. Chen. The scheduled events featured local and overseas scholars, including: Richard Herr from the University of Fiji (Hon Director, Center for International and Regional Affairs), Paul D’Arcy from Australian National University (Senior Fellow, Division of Pacific and Asian History), Nakai Yoshifumi from Gakushuin University (Professor, School of Political Studies), and Prof. Masayuki Masuda (Senior Fellow, Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies). It will also be attended by leading dignitaries from Taiwan, such as David Lin (ROC Minister of Foreign Affairs), and Huang Huang-Hsiung (Control Yuan Member).
At noon on April 24, the Office of Physical Education held the Flag Presentation Ceremony for one of Taiwan's major sporting events: the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games. The Games, an annual meeting of Taiwan's finest college athletes, is an annual tradition - organized and hosted by TKU - which draws students from over 100 universities and colleges around Taiwan. This year, the event will run from April 27 to May 1, and for TKU teams that gain top spots, there will be incentives. TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, described these rewards while speaking at the Flag Presentation Ceremony: teams who place first will get the chance to interact and compete with outstanding sports teams from TKU's overseas sister universities.
To encourage outstanding performance from each academic department, TKU formulated the “TKU Regulations on Incentives for Department Development”, and established the Department Development Incentive Review Committee. To encourage department development, TKU has also launched a new Department Development Contest, in which large cash prizes are up for grabs for departments that perform exceptionally. To enter the contest, departments must submit information (factors and indexes) related to department development. These indexes are then tallied by the TKU Office of Finance, and the top 8 entrants (departments) are selected. The top eight departments in this, the maiden year of the Contest, were the departments of Chemistry, Japanese, Business Management, Banking and Finance, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Engineering, Information Management, and the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies. At 1pm on April 23, the top 5 entrants were announced at the First Department Development Review Conference. During the Conference, each of the top 5 departments received a cash prize of NT $150,000.
After recently reaching Hualien, the TKU Mobile Chemistry Lab continued to bedazzle local school children with its unique gull-wing door, its various shows and intriguing experiemtns. For over two years now, the Mobile Lab has delivered chemistry knowledge and “packaged” chemistry in a fun and exciting way in the hope of getting children from rural areas more interested in chemistry. While in Hualien, the body responsible for the lab – the TKU Department of Chemistry – concluded an agreement with the Department of Education, Hualien County Government, to promote Chemistry education throughout Taiwan. This will involve improving the results of student learning by enhancing the learning environment and equipment used at elementary and high schools around Taiwan.
This year’s National Collegiate Athletic Games will run from April 27 (Sat) to May 1 (Wed). On April 18, the torch for the Games – which gets taken from campus to campus before the Games begin – arrived at the TKU Lanyang Campus, along with this year’s Games mascot, the “New Life” Bull. The Games will this year be held at the National Ilan University, which is where the torch will end up after traveling thousands of kilometers around the mountainous terrain of Taiwan. The torch arrived at the Lanyang Campus at 2:30pm, where it switched hands in a “handover ceremony” led by the Lanyang Campus Provost, Dr. Jyh-Horng Lin; the TKU Dean of Physical Education, Dr. Hsiao Shu-fen; and the Dean of the College of Global Entrepreneurial Development, Dr. Lion Ay-hwa.
The TKU Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center recently launched a new exhibit. Entitled "Spreading Beauty, Illuminating Art", the display showcases calligraphy, Chinese art, Western paintings, and sculptures by 17 well-known artists - members who once served on the Advisory Committee of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center. Such artists include Li Chi-Mao, the former Director of the Center and a painter whose art has gained esteem internationally. The current Director of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, Dr. Chang Ben-Huang, said that art requires constant innovation. He encourages people to incorporate art into their lifestyle, which, he says, colors it with excitement and interest.
On the morning of April 10, 2013, Dr. Richard C. Bush delivered a speech at the TKU Tamsui Campus. Dr. Bush is the former Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and current Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC. The speech, which Dr. Bush gave at the invitation of the TKU College of International Studies, explored the topic "Facing Mainland China: Taiwan's Future Challenges". The event was significant, and drew many participants, including TKU faculty, staff, and students, as well as scholars from other schools.
On March 16, six freshmen from the Department of Mechanic and Electro-Mechanic Engineering took part in the 2013 Taiwan Innovative Unmanned Aircraft Competition. The competition is an annual event that draws entrants from around Taiwan - the largest event of its kind. It is sponsored by the Aeronautical and Astronautical Society of the Republic of China and the ROC National Science Council. This year, the TKU entrants gained several successful results, including second in the "electric wings" division. The supervisor of the TKU team, Prof. Lung-Jieh Yang, explained: "this year's result was a perfect illustration of how students can combine their student club interests with actual classwork to gain great results. I hope that in the future we can continue to promote this method of learning".
On Saturday, April 6, Tamkang University’s Office of Academic Affairs held the 2012 High School Fair. The annual event introduces high school students to Tamkang’s numerous departments and provides such students with information on how to apply to TKU, including sample interview questions and a general overview of the application process. This year, a total of 4,853 students passed the first round of the selection process and registered for the second round. It is estimated that a total of 2,162 students will be selected. On the day of the high school fair, a staggering 4,000 plus students and parents streamed through the Tamsui Campus, heading for Poster St, where they got tips and advice on university life, watched student clubs perform, and gained insight into life at Tamkang. Mrs. Chao, who accompanied her son to the campus, said that by holding a fair at the same time as the second round of the selection process meant that while applying to study at Tamkang, students and their families could get a better understanding of their future university.
On March 29, a group of 70 students and teachers from four high schools in Hong Kong visited the TKU Tamsui Campus. The schools each belong to the Hong Kong Taoist Association. After arriving, the visitors were taken on a tour of the campus, to view the Chinese Palace-style Classrooms, the Chueh Sheng Memorial Library, the TKU Maritime Museum, and the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium. After the tour, the guests took part in an informal discussion held at the Ching Sheng International Conference Hall. During the visit, the guests were received personally by the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee, who also attended the discussion. She said that most TKU international students come from Hong Kong and Macau; that many of these students perform very well at Tamkang - and even go on to achieve profound success after returning home.
The 2013 TKU Employment Fair kicked off on the morning of March 27 at the TKU Tamsui Campus. To mark its commencement, an opening ceremony was held at the TKU Student Activity Center, which featured a traditional Chinese lion dance performance, opening remarks from several distinguished guests, and a ribbon-cutting ritual administered by leading officials from the New Taipei City government and the New Taipei City Employment Service Center. During the opening remarks, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, offered special thanks to the 53 companies that had come along to take part. She explained that TKU tries to instill in each student a high level of “soft power”, and equips its graduates with the skills needed to achieve success. To do so, it stresses “8 essential traits”: 1. a global perspective, 2. information literacy, 3. a vision for the future, 4. moral integrity, 5. independent thinking, 6. a cheerful attitude and healthy lifestyle, 7. a spirit of teamwork and dedication, 8. a sense of aesthetic appreciation. This year, 53 companies came looking for talent. Armed with 3,248 job openings, the companies included major global brands, such as Rhythm and Hues Studio (responsible for the special effects in the Oscar winning movie The Life of Pi) and Taiwan Mobile, who took part in the fair for the first time. Some companies, like the world-renowned Ding Tai Feng, even held on-the-spot interviews, right here at the Tamsui Campus.
Imagine a shop, or a stall, that runs on trust. There are goods or a list of prices, but no one there to make sure you pay. This stall, the “Stall of Trust”, is the latest initiative the “TKU Year of Moral Integrity”. It is a beacon of light, a test of virtue and morals located by the Sung-tao dorms, Tamsui Campus. The stall sells drinks, snacks, and assorted groceries, and when students wish to buy things, they simply place their money in the “honesty box”, a makeshift cash collector that gauges the honesty of students. The section chief of the stall’s organizing body noted that, in the two weeks since the stall’s opening, the money left in the “honesty box” has either been just under or just over the amount that should be there. “This is a great sign, meaning that when there has been a margin, it seems to be the result of mistakes in counting money”.
The 2013 TKU Total Quality Management (TQM) Seminar was held on the morning of March 22 at the TKU Student Activity Center, Tamsui Campus. As in previous years, there was live interaction with staff members from the Taipei and Lanyang campuses, as over 600 members of faculty and staff came together to strengthen their skills in total quality management. Tamkang University was the first university to implement TQM, said the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, in the seminar's opening speech. Since adopting principles of TQM in 1992, Tamkang has evolved through several distinct phases: the "inception phase", the "foundational phase", the "development phase", and the "advancement phase". During this year's seminar, the top three placed teams in the Quality Control Circle Competition were announced; winners of the Tamkang Quality Award shared their know-how and experience; and a special lecture - on service quality - was delivered by well-known author Tony Wong.
Each year, around the middle of March, TKU students from various regions of Taiwan set up stalls at Poster Street and sell their local fare as part of Annual Culture Week. But this year is different. 2013 at Tamkang is the year of moral integrity. So aside from stall after stall of regional snacks – like cactus ice cream from Penghu Island – this year’s week-long festivities have received a new name: “Moral Integrity and Culture Week”. To begin the event, an opening ceremony was held at the Fu Yuan Garden, Tamsui Campus, on 18th March. It was hosted by TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and it encouraged students to serve as role models for the community. Students made vows, pledging to serve as examples of positive moral conduct; to show temperance and discipline; to be filial and respect their elders; to respect all forms of life; to create a clean environment and maintain a pure heart; to be grateful; to live by the TKU motto (simplicity truthfulness, firmness, perseverance); to be fair and just; to care and be kind to others; and to be responsible, upstanding citizens. A paper “train track” of moral integrity now winds through the campus, with train stations named after moral values. Moreover, the organizing body, the Office of Student Affairs, has set up a Facebook fan page called “students have morals; Tamkang has integrity”.
On March 16, TKU held the 2013 Alumni Spring Banquet. The event is an annual ritual in which alumni return to Tamkang’s Tamsui Campus to admire the blossoming flowers, catch up over a buffet-style banquet, receive awards, and showcase their skills in a variety of fun competitions. This year’s event began at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium at 9am. It commenced with a host of fun sports contests, like golf-putting, a basketball hoop shoot-out, and more. Then, at 11am, alumni gathered at the Student Activity Center for the Alumni Spring Banquet, hosted by the President of the General Alumni Association for TKU Academic Departments, Mr. Sun Jui-lung. During the banquet, awards were handed out to outstanding department alumni and exceptional TKU alumni. A total of 35 alumni were recognized.
This year’s International Student Cultural Exhibition showcases traditional garb from 16 countries, including the Japanese kimono, the Chinese Chipao, the Indian Sari, and many others. Starting on March 11, the exhibition will display the colors, foods, and fragrances of various countries, creating a small-scale international community at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall, Tamsui Campus. Lian Shu-ling, a first year student from Malaysia, took part in the international “fashion show” – a central feature of the exhibition. She said this was her first time to participate in the exhibition, and her first time wearing traditional Malaysian attire. “I’m so happy to have had so many new experiences as a freshman”, she exclaimed. The Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee, explained that TKU is home to over 1,000 foreign and overseas Chinese students from over 67 countries. Each year, these students come together to organize an exhibition with a different theme. This year, participating students came from Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, India, Mainland China, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Paraguay, Thailand, Burma, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
Poster Street in Tamsui Campus is once again lined with stalls selling goods at lower-than-average prices. The items on offer include a wide variety of foods, drinks, daily necessities, stationary, electronics, and specialty farm products from various areas around Taiwan. As in previous years, all items are being sold at 20% below the average retail price. Organized by TKU, the 2013 Northern Taiwan Charity Fundraiser will be held at five campuses by five separate universities, including Tamkang University, Aletheia University, Taoyuan Innovation Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, and Chang Gung University. This year, 289 companies have sponsored the event, providing a total of almost 7 million NT dollars worth of goods. Proceeds of the goods sold will go to charity, including the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, the DDM Social and Welfare Charity Foundation, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, and the Grant a Wish Project for remote elementary schools in the Taitung region. To find out more about when the fundraising event will move to each of the five participating universities, please refer to the following Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000687162994&fref=ts
The Chung Ling Chemistry Competition is viewed by many in Taiwan as the “Olympics of Chemistry”. It consistently attracts hundreds of students from the best high schools in Taiwan. This year, on March 9, a record total of 265 groups and 795 students took part. The contest consists of two phases. The first comprises a written test, which gauges one’s overall understanding of chemistry by testing their ability to comprehend chemistry-related information, to calculate in chemistry, and to practically apply chemistry-based knowledge. The second phase involves a practical experiment contest. This year, the contest examined students’ understanding of metal complexes. In the end, the top three spots went to Kaohsiung Municipal Girls’ Senior High School, National Taichung First Senior High School, and the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. The winning teams received cash prizes of NT $30,000, NT $15,000, and NT $10,000 respectively.
Residents in Taiwan and Japan both live with the threat of active fault lines. Such fault lines cause large earthquakes that lead to the loss of lives and the destruction of communities. In Taiwan’s recent history, this was seen in the 921 Earthquake (1999); while in Japan, it was the 311 Earthquake Tsumani. While Taiwan is now close to full recovery, Japan – after almost two years of reconstruction - is still in the arduous process of recovering. When faced with unforeseeable natural disasters, what are human beings to do? This question formed the basis of a recent forum held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. Participants to the forum included students from TKU and Ritsumeikan University (Japan), who together discussed a range of topics on students’ roles in the reconstruction of a post-disaster community. In addition, the visiting students and teachers held a separate photo exhibition that showed how Ritsumeikan students have helped to rebuild battered local communities over the last two years. Second year TKU student Lin Tsu-Chieh described what he felt was the most touching photograph at the display. The picture what captured one month after the disaster. It depicts school children returning to their school to find personal belongings, but instead finding a shattered heap of mud and rubble.